The flag photo is a powerful symbol of a nation’s identity and unity. Throughout history, flags have been used as rallying cries for people to unite against common enemies or in support of shared beliefs. In many countries, the display of the national flag is considered formal etiquette and may indicate special privileges or status.
The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) is coming under fire from the Iranian government after they briefly removed their emblem from the Iranian flag in a show of support for protesters currently taking to the streets in Iran. This move sparked criticism from some Iranians who felt it was inappropriate for Americans to impose their views on what should happen inside Iran.
On Sunday, US Soccer informed CNN that it wants to alter the national flag for 24 hours to demonstrate “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights” following the death of Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, 22, while in police custody. But had always intended to return to the original flag.
The Iranians are calling on FIFA, soccer’s governing body, to expel America from participating in the 2022 World Cup, which will be held in Qatar.
“By posting a distorted image of the flag of the Islamic Republic of #Iran on its official account, the #US football team breached the @FIFAcom charter, for which 10-game suspension is the appropriate penalty,” Iran state-aligned Tasnim news agency wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “Team #USA should be kicked out of the #worldcup2022.”
It all started when someone noticed that on Twitter and Instagram, USSF had replaced the typical blue field decorated with white stars found on most American flags with a solid blue background sans any stars.
As of now, there has been no response from either organization regarding this matter, but one can only imagine how it will play out, considering how touchy international politics can be. What is clear, though, is that this incident could have far-reaching implications not just for relations between these two countries.
Displaying or modifying the image of national flag is often seen as a way to express political opinions. So it is not uncommon for athletes or other individuals associated with major sporting events like the World Cup to take sides on certain issues by displaying specific flags or emblems on their clothing or equipment.