‘Lawful’ to wave ISIS flag on Parliament Square – Metropolitan Police
Photographs of the incident were initially posted on a Korean web forum, sparking a social media backlash.
It comes just over a week after 30 Britons were massacred in Sousse, Tunisia, by an Islamic State terrorist and mere days before the 10-year anniversary of the 7/7 London bombings.
The Metropolitan Police said its officers had witnessed the incident, but said carrying the flag was not unlawful.
“The man was spoken to by officers, with consideration given to relevant legislation, particularly the Public Order Act,” the Met said in a statement.
“The decision was taken by officers at the time that the man was acting within the law. He was not arrested.”
The statement continued: “Wearing, carrying or displaying of an emblem or flag, by itself, is not an offence unless the way in which, or the circumstance in which, the emblem is worn, carried or displayed is such as to cause reasonable suspicion that the person is a supporter or member of a proscribed organization.
“While support of and membership of ISIS is unlawful, it is not a criminal offence to advocate the creation of an independent state.”
The incident comes a week after American TV channel CNN mistakenly reported that an ISIS flag had been flown at an LGBT Pride march in London.
The sighting of an “ISIS flag” in “a sea of rainbow colors” on one of London’s busiest shopping streets was “flagged” by CNN International’s Lucy Pawle.
“It’s certainly not Arabic,” Pawle said at the time. “In fact, it looks like it could be gobbledygook. But it’s very distinctively the ISIS flag. Anyway, I seem to be the only person to have spotted this.”
The photos Pawle sent to back the story up indeed show a black and white flag. The “gobbledygook,” however, was an assortment of sex toys, including dildos and anal plugs.