BAGHDAD — During periods of social unrest, controversy grows over questions of identity. The struggle over flags in Iraq is a symbolic conflict that reflects a deeper one plaguing Iraqi society, which still has not been able to agree on a national identity that brings together the different religions, tribes and sects.
In Sinjar, the hub of the Yazidi minority, a conflict broke out Nov. 13 among the different Kurdish forces that took part in the fighting to liberate the city from the Islamic State. These forces included the Kurdistan Workers Party, the peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Region and Yazidi-affiliated local forces. Trouble arose when the various forces wanted to raise their flags at government buildings in the city to symbolize their taking control over the city.