Vessels sailing under the Iraq Country Flag are required to have on board this flag as part of flag state requirements that derive from maritime regulations in the International Code of Signals and the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. These codes are published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as an ongoing effort to reinforce maritime safety procedures and communications to the international maritime community. Fleet management companies and ship owners are responsible to ensure that each vessel in their respective fleets have the appropriate flag signage onboard to be in compliance. This flag is used to identify the flag state a vessel is sailing under and to communicate with other vessels under the provisions of the International Code of Signals.
The Iraq Country Flag is represented by three, equally proportioned horizontal stripes. These are colored red, white and black from top to bottom. Centered in the white stripe and horizontally centered on the flag is the Arabic text known as the Takbir. This translates in the English language to, "Allah Is The Greater", or "God Is Great". The text is written in green, the official and traditional color of Islam. The Iraq Country Flag was officially adopted in 2008, following a contest to find an official national symbol after extensive political upheaval, war and a subsequent change to a constitutional government. Previous Iraq national flags have been flown since 1921. The Flag is designated to hold a proportional ratio of 2:3, height to length, respectively. The colors used in the Flag represent traditional colors used to symbolize Arab states. Traditionally, red is meant to be symbolic of the blood sacrificed by citizen martyrs in defense of their respective countries. The Black color often represents strength and determination, the willingness to defend. White often depicts the hope for peace.