Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki ordered Sunday that the current Iraqi flag should be hoisted across the whole country, after the Kurdish regional government decided to ban the Iraqi flag on the northern autonomous region.
"The present Iraqi flag is the only flag that should be hoisted on every inch of Iraqi soil until the parliament make decision about it according to the constitution," Maliki's office said in a brief statement.
Massud Barzani, president of the Kurdish region in north of Iraq, has ordered a few days ago to ban raising the national Iraqi flag beside the Kurdish flag on the regional government buildings.
Barzani said in his decision that "the Kurdish flag alone is to rise over the government buildings, the Peshmerga (Kurdish militia) bases and checkpoints in Kurdistan."
The decision allowed regional political parties in the Kurdish enclave to raise their own flags beside the Kurdish flag, the Barzani decision said.
The decision said that the Iraqi national flag of the period from 1958-1963 could be raised only during official occasions until the new federal Iraq would choose a new flag according to the Iraqi permanent constitution.
Barzani's administration in Arbil, 350 km north of Baghdad, never hoisted the Iraqi flag.
Kurdish officials said that since 1963 many organized massacres were committed under the Iraqi flag. Therefore they refuse to allow the Iraqi flag to hoist on Kurdistan.
Iraq's Kurdish minority has enjoyed wide autonomy since Saddam Hussein regime's defeat in the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait and strongly supported the 2003 US-led invasion which toppled him.