An underlying phenomenon in Iran has been going on for as long as the past 40 years with the burning of national flags by protestors as part of the state-sponsored act. Four decades on, this is still taking place despite the people’s opposition to engaging in acts that support the notion of the United States and Israel as Tehran’s biggest enemies. As a result, there is an increased demand for flag production to be used for burning, especially with the recent intensified situation in Iran.
A small factory based in Khomeini City made up of 42 employees are responsible for making hundreds of thousands of flags from scratch to meet this demand. Diba Parcham Khomeini factory sells almost 1.5 million square feet of flags each year – amounting to over 20 football fields’ worth for regime-backed protesters to burn in demonstrations. One of the highest demanded flag is the customization of Israel’s national flag featuring the Star of David with the words “Death to Israel” in Persian alongside it. Other popular flags are the United States and the United Kingdom which are burned by protestors in rallies. A small percentage that is not burned include Iranian and Hezbollah flags made for hanging in homes or for rallies supporting the government.
Outside of the West Asian country, the world has grown familiar to images of Iranians burning flags in rallies against the US, Israel, and the UK. However, a recent video in early January 2020 showing university students in Iran walking around the US and Israel flags that officials had painted on the ground went viral on the internet. The footage capturing public acts in resistance towards state propaganda and disrespecting another country’s flag paints a more genuine picture of the situation at hand for the world to see.