On Saturday, CNN devoted an entire segment to what it called “an ISIS flag among a sea of rainbow colors.” CNN International’s Lucy Pawle described spotting the flag at a gay pride march in London. She pronounced it to be “an attempt to mimic the ISIS flag, the black-white flag with distinctive lettering.” Upon seeing the flag, she reported it to nearby police. She noted, however, that if you “look at the flag closely,” you’ll see “it’s clearly not Arabic.”
Pawle is correct that the flag is not in Arabic. It is, in fact, not in any language. Rather, it consists of crude drawings of sex toys.
Pawle was joined by CNN National Security Analyist Peter Bergen to discuss the matter. During the segment, the camera zoomed in repeatedly on the flag in question. CNN has not yet commented on the error.