A collection of photos of streets adorning purported Pakistani national flags were circulated on WhatsApp. It was claimed that these flags were hoisted in West Bengal’s Kolkata in celebration of the newly elected mayor, Firhad Hakim.

One Facebook user, Dilip Singh, posted the images with an alarming message, “Firhad Hakim’s election as the new mayor celebrated in Kolkata with Paksitani flags. This is an alarm bell for Hindus (translated)”. At the time of writing this article, his post garnered close to 900 shares.

A similar claim along with the identical images was also tweeted by individual users on Twitter and Facebook.

NOT Pakistani flag

As seen in the comparison of the two images given below, social media users confused a generic religious flag with Pakistan’s national flag. In the photo on the right, which is the Pakistani flag, there is a white patch on the left side with a crescent moon and a star on the dark green coloured portion of the flag.

A repetitive error

Alt News has chronicled several instances in the past (1,2,3,4) when this generic flag, popularly used as a religious symbol by the Muslim community, was passed off as Pakistan’s national flag on social media.

Recently, a video of Congress leader Ashok Gehlot giving a speech was viral after many falsely claimed to spot Pakistan’s flag in the background.

About the Author

Jignesh is a writer and researcher at Alt News. He has a knack for visual investigation with a major interest in fact-checking videos and images. He has completed his Masters in Journalism from Gujarat University.