In this paper, a video query model based on the content of video and iconic indexing is proposed. We extend the notion of two-dimensional strings to three-dimensional strings (3D-Strings) for representing the spatial and temporal relationships among the symbols in both a video and a video query. The problem of video query processing is then transformed into a problem of three-dimensional pattern matching. To efficiently match the 3D-Strings, a data structure, called 3D-List, and its related algorithms are proposed. In this approach, the symbols of a video in the video database are retrieved from the video index and organized as a 3D-List according to the 3D-String of the video query. The related algorithms are then applied on the 3D-List to determine whether this video is an answer to the video query. Based on this approach, we have started a project called Vega. In this project, we have implemented a user friendly interface for specifying video queries, a video index tool for constructing the video index, and a video query processor based on the notion of 3D-List. Some experiments are also performed to show the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed algorithms.