Texas mayor demands Homeland Security investigate Valentine’s Day flag that says ‘Love’ in Arabic
City officials in a small Texas town notified Department of Homeland Security officials out of fear over a flag bearing the words, “Love is for all” in Arabic script, according to LubbockOnline.
The flag was noticed the day after Valentine’s Day and was dangling from a publicly-owned tower in downtown Lubbock, a town in northern Texas. The so-called “Arabic flag” sent local leaders looking for help from federal law enforcement.
“I fully understand that we must gather more facts before we make a knee-jerk reaction but I am concerned on several levels,” Mayor Glen Robertson wrote in a letter to authorities. “Please keep me informed as we learn more about this situation.”
The flag was black in color with white script and had a red heart emblazoned in the middle. It was hanging from a building known as the Citizens Tower. Local KCBD described it as “massive” in size.
Robertson notified local police and asked them to also notify the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office.
“Even though the message seems to be innocuous and well-meaning,” Councilman Victor Hernandez told the paper, “that was not the best way to go about spreading the message.”
Whoever hung the flag didn’t cause any damage, according to LubbockOnline. It was tied to pipes on the roof. City officials had the flag cut down Monday, sending it and cinder blocks that were used to stabilize it, crashing to the ground. But if caught, the people who hung it could be charged with trespassing.
Mazen Sabouni, a Lubbock resident who emigrated from Syria and is fluent in Arabic, said the phrase is common around Valentine’s Day among Arabic speakers.