Arabic 'love' flag causes stir in Texas town

Arabic 'love' flag causes stir in Texas town
2 min read
18 Feb, 2016
A flag with an Arabic Valentine's Day message has sparked a police investigation after being hung from a Texas municipal building.
The arabic words on the flag read "love is for all" [screenshot]
A flag that said "love is for all" in Arabic has caused a stir in the Texas town of Lubbock, where the city's Mayor called for its removal and a homeland security investigation.

The flag, which was hanging from the Citizen's Tower in downtown Lubbock on Sunday, was put on display as part of the Valentine's Day celebrations.

Despite its positive message however, Mayor Glen Robertson did not take too kindly to the flag.

"It has been brought to my attention that an Arabic flag has been hung from one of the upper floors of the Omni building," Robertson said in a letter sent to City Manager James Loomis, using the former name of the building.

"I am requesting that the flag be removed immediately, that we get an accurate translation of the flag, and that [Lubbock police] Chief Stevens notify the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and our Lubbock County Sheriff's Department."

Local news outlet Lubbock Online reported that "a portion of nearby Avenue K" was closed and city crews took down the banner shortly after noon that day.

"Even though the message seems to be innocuous and well-meaning", Councilman Victor Hernandez told Lubbock Online, "that was not the best way to go about spreading the message."

Reactions to the incident on social media ranged from outrage to ridicule as news of the event spread.

Grady Moore took to facebook to say, "You have to love Lubbock..everyone freaks out and calls the cops."

Last June, the sight of what was thoguht to be Arabic writing sparked similar panic, when a mock Islamic State group flag was spotted at a gay pride event in London.