Saturday, September 13, 2014


We earlier  examined a celebrated case in France, of proscription of an item of non-verbal speech:  La quenelle.    Here, now, is another, this time from Germany:

Künftig ist es verboten, Kennzeichen oder Symbole der Miliz in Deutschland zu verwenden - hier liegt ein Problem des Verbots. Die Fahne des IS zeigt kein abstraktes Symbol, das nur Dschihadisten verwenden, sondern sie besteht aus dem islamischen Glaubensbekenntnis: "Es gibt keinen Gott außer Gott, und Mohammed ist der Gesandte Gottes." Dieses Glaubensbekenntnis ist eine der fünf Säulen des Islam und hat mit Terrorismus ebenso viel zu tun wie das Glaubensbekenntnis der Christen: nichts.

For reader reference, we reproduce an image of the forbidden object (German nationals are required to avert their gaze):

"I pledge allegiance ... to the flag ..."

Now, that one really is an Islamic State flag, for beneath the shahâdah (“There is no god but God, and Muhammad is His prophet”) stands the legend Dawlatu l-Khilâfati l-Islâmiyyah ‘State of the Islamic Caliphate’ (yet another designation for the group!) .
But what of this plain-vanilla version, showing nothing but the bare profession of faith?  Is this banned too?


Apparently so:

Gerade dieses IS-Symbol-Verbot trug dem Vernehmen nach dazu bei, dass das Innenministerium mehr Zeit brauchte als erwartet: Der IS präsentiert auf seiner schwarzen Flagge nämlich eine Kombination aus Kalifatsbezeichnungen, Prophetensiegel und der ersten Sure des Koran. Intensiv prüften die Juristen deshalb, ob durch ein Verbot die religiösen Gefühle der Muslime verletzt werden. Ergebnis: Diese Symbolik wird seit zehn Jahren nur von der Isis, dem jetzigen IS, verwendet.

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[Update 28 September 2014]  Let us be     quite …. clear.
That last image is not the property of any particular group.  All it does is affirm the unity of God -- Credo in unum Deum, as we say in our faith -- and then adds the most minimal bit to make it Muslim:  “Muhammad [is the] prophet [of] God”.  (In Arabic, this is just three words.   An odd feature of the layout is that this last phrase is laid out vertically, and must be read (not usual for Arabic at all) from bottom to top:  thus, geometrically subordinating Muhammad to God.  Monotheism does not get more pure than that.

And so, let us contemplate, what banning that image means.  The phrase itself must never be banned;  one could debate about the particular B&W layout as a flag -- there is nothing sacred about the color-scheme or layout. 

Alas, we must now consider this.  The unspeakable coven of Xanthippean diabolists known as “Femen” have dedicated themselves to profaning all that is sacred.  They did it at Notre-Dame, and now …  but what they did, is too horrible to reproduce here;  click if you dare:

[redacted, since it has been getting this post too many unwelcome views]

Eine Schande !


Was für Krimi liest wohl Dr. Sigmund Freud?

Schauen Sie mal!

[Update 15 December 2014]  Here we see hostages forced to display the flag in Sydney, Australia:

Season's greetings from Iran

[Update 21 December 2014]  The ISIL flag functions internationally rather  like MacDonald’s Golden Arches -- an instantly recognizable visual brand.
The Franco-Burundian Islamist convert who slashed several police officers in France, put up an image of that flag on Facebook, just before the attack:

[Update]  More in the ISIL flag:

"The Islamic State’s design of the Muslim profession of faith is different from every other attempt to replicate the prophet’s flag: 'No god but God' is scrawled in white across the top and 'Mohammed is the Messenger of God' is stacked in black inside a white circle. (...) Yet the Islamic State’s choices display the modern sensibilities they try so hard to displace. The white scrawl across the top, 'No god but God,' is deliberately ragged, meant to suggest an era before the precision of Photoshop, even though the flag was designed on a computer."
(The Atlantic 22.09.2015)


Si cela vous parle,

savourez la série noire

en argot authentique d’Amérique :


[Update 10 Feb 2015]  The flag is banned in France, perhaps:

[Update May 2015]  In the latest edition of Dabiq (#9), ISIL, with its sternly minimalistic, monochromatic or rather achromatic flag, denounces the rainbow banners of its jihadi rivals.

[Update 30 June 2015] Comic relief: 

The context for is the flurry of calls for banning the Confederate flag.  Trigger for these was that fact that a recent mass-murderer posed with that flag on Facebook.  (What would we have done if, instead, he had posed with the flag of the United Nations, or with a GOP elephant?)

Farcic relief:

South Carolina, the state where the recent assassinations took place, has apparently come up with a compromise:  a joint ISIL/Arabian/Confederate flag that is immensely tasteful and doubtless will soon be gracing the chic-est salons:

[Source: ]

Order yours today!

[Update]  Ever-more-contorted  German attempts  to forbid codes and symbols:

[Update 15 Nov 2015]  Now here's an interesting flag...

"Breizh da gentañ"

(Manif en Bretagne.)

That curious, whirly shape is known as a triskelion:

Il est quelque peu méchant, car il rappelle une autre figure giratoire, mais  à quatre pattes au lieu de trois.

[Update 21 November 2015]  And now … the “Merkel-Raute”:

Deutschland im Zeichen der Merkel-Raute – in dieser Zeichensprache kommt wohl der Anspruch der Bundeskanzlerin zur Geltung, alles zusammenzuführen und in einer Mitte zu vereinen.

Update 21 April 2016]  In a very informative article

We learn of yet another flag in ill-favor:

Demonstrators sometimes hold up the “Wirmer flag,” which the anti-Hitler resistance around Claus von Stauffenberg had intended as the symbol of a post-Nazi Germany. In fact, many far-right groups in Germany have appropriated this symbol to signal that they consider the current state illegitimate.


The author does not comment on that symbol’s legal status, but according to Wikipedia, it’s allowed:

Bei der Wirmer-Flagge gibt es keine rechtlichen Einschränkungen, anders als bei der ähnlich wirkenden Reichskriegsflagge, die selbst in der Version ohne Hakenkreuz von der Polizei wegen „Verstoß[es] gegen die öffentliche Ordnung“ sichergestellt werden kann.

As for the taboo’d Reichskriegsflagge, here it is, in a version in use until 1903 (German citizens, avert your gaze -- Auch das blosse Anschauen ist streng verboten):




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