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A commotion over Syria's independence or "rebel" flag marred Monday's announcement of a joint platform by the opposition-in-exile National Coalition and a party headed by a veteran dissident who recently fled the country.It was the first joint appearance by representatives of the two groups, after Hussein – formerly a leading figure in the so-called "tolerated" opposition – left Syria last month citing threats to his personal security.But Hussein's request that the independence flag be moved out of direct camera range for the news conference enraged rank-and-file supporters of the opposition, for whom the pre-Baath era flag is sacred.The SRGC and other supporters of the uprising complained that the Coalition easily bowed to pressure by Hussein over the flag – while anti-regime activists inside the country have been waging their own, more dangerous battle, to ensure the flag is not overshadowed by the religious-themed flags of many rebel militias.
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