It is historically true that power in Iran has been held by a hegemony, whether by the various monarchs or by the pseudo-republic regime that currently governs the country. In either case the patriarchal power is being inherited and the people lack agency in political discourse.
Flag represents a nation. The Iranian flag has changed many times, and each time it represented a shift in power dynamics. Therefore, in my opinion, this lack of consistency reflects the lack of representation of the people for thousands of years.
I felt alienated by many different aspects of the Islamic identity that were promoted through the educational system and media from the time I was aware of myself, the concept of nationhood, and its symbols and representations. Our flag is one of them. Especially with the "Allah" symbol center of our flag in Arabic. This emblem replaced “Lion and Sun” emblem after the 1979 Islamic revolution. Red, white, and green are among the oldest elements of the Iranian flag that have stayed constant since the Safavid period. So, I, as an Iranian female artist who fled the Islamic patriarchal structure in order to work as an artist, intend to create a flag that is not oppressive, which does not encompass any kind of sexist, racist, or misogynistic ideology and considers women equal to men. That acknowledges equality, our identity and history; Iranian before Islamic, Humans before male and female.Flags are a simple visual way to convey a message of loyalty, power, and communication. Taken the worth of national flags protection and highly patriotic ownership into consideration it is perhaps the most valuable art there is. (Batalden, 2018)
Flag tells about the bewildering combination of displacement and togetherness. (Anne Wagner)
National symbolism and group identification:
What is the role of flags as symbols, political and social statements?
National symbolism evokes a psychological attachment to the nation as an abstract social entity, rather than as a tangible functional system. (Schatz, 2007)
A nation's flag represents the distinctive, unified story of its history, culture and social construction to the world. If it transcends any particular moment in time, it can influence choice and opinion, but not change either one. It functions as a symbol resisting over time.
Flags also have a commercial purpose, which is to sell a country's story to the world. Almost like a product or service brand, it seeks to influence choice, purchase or investment. Over time, its meaning can also evolve. It is no different with commercial brands: the current reputation can positively or negatively affect the perception of the brand.
Is it appropriate to reinterpret a national flag?
A flag represents both the state and the nation as a symbol of collective identity but I intend to liberate the flag from State monopoly, which would allow citizens more freedom in its use. I aim to politicize and appropriate the Iranian flag on behalf of Iranian diasporas around the world.
National attachment, a feeling of close personal attachment to one's nation or state, is a powerful organizing force that has been a facet of all successful human societies. (Ervin Staub, 1997)
Through the therapeutic act of making a new flag without any symbols or ideology, I am attempting to heal my relationship with my flag. To that end, I call for the purging of all the symbols that have contaminated the Iranian flag since the dawn of time.