My thoughts on ISIS’s Flag

My thoughts on ISIS’s Flag

You know ISIS, that new Islamic militant group in the headlines that makes Al Qaeda look like they’re weak kitty cats? Check out their flag design. These militants are some of the most ruthless warmongers we’ve seen in the region who proudly carry out mass executions and pile bodies for dramatic photographs, but there must be that one guy amongst them, that one artsy guy who loves fine arts and fonts, and who gets to design the logo and the flag, then has to pitch it to the team:

– Abu Fannan, the Jihadi artist: “This is our new flag. First, of course, black backdrop. Why? Because black is the color of Jihad. Black is also scary. And we want to be scary. Right? But also, we want to be _different_ scary. That is why I did not use any traditional Arabesque calligraphy, on PURPOSE, because it has been, like, so overdone. The pussycats at Al Qaeda did it, the jerks from al-Nusra did it, Jamaat al-Tawhid did it… and it is now clichรฉ. SO I used a brand new font: A mixture of Chalkduster and Copperplate Gothic Bold. It has this je-ne-sais-quoi effect, like it is embossed, see? It has that “started from the bottom now we HERE” kind-of effect. The words look like they were manually carved into stone… reminds us of the stone age because that’s where we belong.
– Guys in the room: What’s … stone age?
– Abu Fannan: You’ll see.”

Indeed, we will.

* Originally shared on Facebook here.ย 

Written by Sara El-Yafi


  1. Ayman DAOUK · June 23, 2014


  2. Tarek Al-Bayrouti · June 23, 2014

    Hahah ๐Ÿ™‚ Nothing about the unicellular motif encompassing the “Allah prophet Mohammed?”

    • Sara El-Yafi · June 23, 2014

      Of course Tarek. But that’s in his second slide. The seal of the Prophet also looks embossed. It is as if the Prophet himself came by and blessed this organization. Nu-realism they call it.

    • Eyad Albayouk · June 23, 2014

      fyi the bottom part is supposed to be the prophet’s stamp/ring…

      • Sara El-Yafi · June 23, 2014

        Exactly Eyad. That’s the magic of it. As if the Prophet stamped it himself?! *sigh* If the Prophet had a set of lawyers today, he would win many cases against all these awful people who consistently engage in the worst libel and defamation possible. He is rolling in his grave knowing that people like these are using his signature. #notinmyname

  3. Fawwaz Abughazaleh · June 23, 2014


  4. Lulu Trk · June 23, 2014

    Hahaha brilliant !!

  5. Mohamed El Dahshan · June 23, 2014

    you do know what that flag is, right?

  6. Antoine Salloum · June 23, 2014

    Yes! I always thought there was a hipster designer among them, the flag is very minimal.

    • Sara El-Yafi · June 23, 2014

      Yes Antoine, underneath his military attire and black hood, there is a checkered tight shirt tucked into skinny pants.

      • Antoine Salloum · June 23, 2014

        Or it could be something they snatched off Google images… But I guess anyone could be a hipster. I mean look at old Bin Laden photos when he was a teen in London.

  7. Rima Abed · June 23, 2014

    Not forgetting that the ISIS is the richest terrorist group out there to date..

  8. Racha Badran · June 23, 2014

    Hahahahaha love the description!

  9. Lyna Comaty · June 23, 2014

    Very true.

  10. Ramsey Nasr · June 23, 2014

    Hahah I’m imagining the Abu fannan guy going like “je ne sais quoi”

  11. Kirstin Broderick · June 23, 2014


  12. Molly Stacey · June 23, 2014

    You are brilliant!

  13. Hussein Itany · June 23, 2014

    This is the signature of the prophet. Hence why they used it.. As what was going on in their minds well it is je ne sais quoi indeed hahaha.

  14. Oussama Glilah · June 23, 2014

    This flag has nothing to do with ISIS, it was used long ago

  15. Salem Zacka · June 23, 2014

    Flintstones the horror edition

  16. Ali Al-Khalil · June 23, 2014


  17. Sara El-Yafi · June 23, 2014

    If anyone here is trying to convince me that Abu Fannan did not draw that flag and that he is a figment of my imagination, don’t. He is real. That’s what he told me.

  18. Maya Barbir · June 23, 2014

    allah yustur !

  19. Mohammed Zigby · June 23, 2014


  20. Julien Cordahi · June 23, 2014

    Dunno bout the stone age… but it’s definitely the stoned age we’re living in these days. ๐Ÿ™

  21. Marwan Hobeika · June 23, 2014

    And I take it there must be some sort of metaphysical explanation as to why you have to read the white disk bottom-up for it to make any sense?

    • Marwan Hobeika · June 23, 2014

      IMHO, it bears some sort of relation to an Arabic functional equivalent of Comic Sans MS

  22. Patrick Kearns · June 23, 2014

    As in, “Ok boss, I’ll run it up the flag pole and see if anyone salutes”.

  23. Amal Farah · June 23, 2014

    Hehe..IsIs my a$$

  24. Kareem Chehayeb · June 23, 2014

    Borderline comic sans.

  25. Joumana Medlej · August 11, 2014

    I see nobody has any clue that the inscriptions are reproductions of early Islamic coinage. This is not a font, it's one of the oldest known Islamic inscriptions, blown up about 1000 times.

  26. Mark · August 12, 2014

    Well dear, so u r writting this as if u r amazed by their logo ? I think u r just like them, u r talking about an art made by a group who killed about 10000 christians so far, i guess u could find “art” in many other places..

  27. Jamal Tayara-Baroudy · August 15, 2014

    This was a very funny read ๐Ÿ™‚ excellent humor Sara El-Yafi

  28. Joyce Nasard Hajj-Chahine · August 15, 2014

    hahahaha hilarious!!!

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