Viral: Fake news of Pakistan flag waved at Congress rally in Karnataka

A video is currently going viral on social media platforms and particularly on WhatsApp. The video is of a Congress party rally in North Belgaum in Karnataka, and it has been claimed that the flag of Pakistan was waved at the rally. This message is also circulating in the form of an image of the flag which has been taken from the video.

In the video, it can be seen that a green coloured flag is being waved amidst a crowd. It is being claimed in social media posts and WhatsApp forwards that the flag in the video is the Pakistani flag. The above video has been shared more than 350 times. This may seem like a modest number, but the video is being uploaded and posted by many individual users rather than being shared in large numbers from a single page or group of pages.

The manner in which this video is being shared indicates that this video along with the claim that the Pakistani flag was present at the Congress party’s rally in Karnataka is circulating on WhatsApp.

Was a Pakistani flag waved at the rally?

The video shows a green coloured flag being waved. We took a screenshot of the video in order to take a good look at the flag.

The flag that was waved at this rally was NOT a Pakistani flag. This is in fact the flag of IUML (Indian Union Muslim league), which is different from the flag of Pakistan. The Pakistani flag has a white band on the left side. Also, there is a difference in the colour and the angle of the crescent in both flags.

Very often, the Pakistani flag is also confused with the banner of Islam. The image below shows the difference between the two flags. Those who are unaware of the difference may end up confusing the two flags. Alt News had earlier reported on News18 portraying an Islamic banner as a Pakistani flag hoisted in Uttar Pradesh.

Karnataka votes on May 12, and the fake news machinery is on an overdrive. There has been a flurry of misinformation related to Karnataka on social media over the last few days. Nationalism and Pakistan are popular themes for fake news peddlers in election season which probably explains how Islamic flags that usually dot towns, cities and villages in India suddenly morph into Pakistani flags on the eve of polls, and spread like wild fire on multiple platforms in a bid to polarise voters.

Update: We had earlier stated the flag was the banner of Islam. However, it is actually the IUML flag. The error is regretted and has been corrected.

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