Iraq is planning to adopt a new national anthem and flag in a bid to bring together national symbols and put behind decades of hardship and conflict, Press Tv reported.
"We are determined to finish the new flag and anthem this year, in this legislative session," chairman of the Iraqi parliament's culture and media committee, Ali Shlah, told AFP on Saturday.
He added that a new anthem and flag "will be a unifying factor" for Iraqis, who have suffered through periods of violence, suffering, and division.
Shlah said that parliament is preparing a second reading of a law on the anthem after a first reading two months ago.
Earlier this year, Iraq's culture and media committee tasked six Iraqi writers with assessing potential national anthems.
Three choices -- "Salam ala Hadhabat al-Iraq" (Peace on the Hills of Iraq); "Ghareeb ala al-Khaleej" (A Stranger on the Gulf); and "Watani al-Haq Yuaiduhu" (My Country is Supported by Right) -- are high on the list.
Iraqi Kurds, Turkmen, and Assyrians called for verses in their languages to be added to their country's national anthem. However, a compromise has been reached to say the words "Long live Iraq" at the end in various languages.
Shlah said, "Peace on the Hills of Iraq" is the current leading candidate.
The Iraqi legislator further noted that some people want to keep the current flag, as modifications to it mean that "it is no longer Saddam's flag."
He said the current design will be submitted along with six other designs from artists to a committee for review.
According to Iraqi parliament's website, the new country's flag should express "the unity of Iraq's land and people," and "look optimistically to its future and proudly to its history."