December 20th, 2011
04:24 AM ET

American general returns military flag from Iraq to U.S.

The American general who oversaw the withdrawal of tens of thousands of troops from Iraq returns to the United States on Tuesday, carrying the military flag that flew over the Iraqi capital.

The simple act is a long-standing military tradition that signifies the end of a mission.
There is little simple, though, about this act.

When Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III returns the United States Forces-Iraq command flag to U.S. soil, it will mark the formal conclusion of the military mission in Iraq.
Austin, who lowered the command flag in Baghdad last week, will be met at Andrews Air Force Base by President Barack Obama, according to White House and Pentagon officials.

The return of Austin and the flag will be commemorated with a ceremony attended by Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the officials said.

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Filed under: U.S. • World
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. banasy©


    And good morning.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. Corporate flag

    What about the military contractors in Iraq...the "Blackwater" types. When will their general bring their flag home?

    December 20, 2011 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. michaelfury

    “Principle VI

    The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

    (a) Crimes against peace:
    (i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
    (ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i)."

    December 20, 2011 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I think that the most interesting flag that I ever actually saw was the NAZI "Blood Flag."
    Of course, the USA came home with a clear win in that war.

    December 20, 2011 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. ronvan

    The most important thing is that the TROOPS are home! Now lets take care of them!! Time will tell if Iraq returns to its "old self" with killing each other off as their history shows.

    December 20, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    Although I care about the reasons why we were there, I care more that our troops are coming home.

    I do not give a sh1t if any stupid corporate flags from “Blackwater” types have flags; I care that the men and women who fought in this war ARE COMING HOME!!
    In time for Christmas.

    Welcome home, Troops!
    Let nothing you dismay...or *anyone*!

    December 20, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. reelstreetviewz

    Check out for more

    December 20, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. Big Game James

    @banasy Merry Xmas to you and yours and being I'm from Fayetteville, NC home to many in the 82nd Airborne welcome home if I run into any of you at my favorite watering hole the first round is on me. That is if the eagle has landed! LOL!

    December 20, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    @Big Game James:
    Merry Christmas to you and your family, also!
    Be careful what you ask for; if the eagle *has* landed, you my find yourself with a very large bar tab!
    Although it would be one I'd gladly help you pay...

    December 20, 2011 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. Bring home the armed private contractors

    We don't know exactly how many of them have been killed. We mostly just know about those whom they have killed. Either way, corporate army personnel should come home and bring whatever flag they have been waving with them.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bill

    Unfortunately, this is not the end of our messing around to say that we'll quietly lose more men and spend untold big bucks on that hole. We have to learn that these primitive, religiously-driven, violence-oriented cultures need to be left to their own fights and bickering! We are like misguided Boy Scouts, dragging a little old lady across the street who doesn't want to go! Sad to see the loss of so many of our troops and $ wasted on a hopeless boondogle.

    December 21, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  12. @banasy

    Excuse me? But Blackwater and Associates employees are Americans too. And so are the thousands employed by the dozens of other corporations who then rent them to US. They wear different uniforms but they are still Americans fighting foreign wars. To bring home the troops and leave these men and women over there seems like not such a good idea. We'll see how it turns out.

    December 21, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |