No, Pakistani flag wasn't raised at Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate's rally in India

By: Tahil Ali
May 17 2024

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No, Pakistani flag wasn't raised at Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate's rally in India

Several social media users have claimed that the Pakistani flag was raised at Anil Desai’s roadshow in Chembur. (Source: X/ Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The flag in question is not Pakistan’s national flag but the common Islamic flag.

Claim ID c268f098

What is the claim?

A video of a green flag with a white crescent moon and star attached to the arm of a crane is being shared on various social media platforms like X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook. Posts sharing the video claim that the Pakistani national flag was raised at a recent roadshow held by politician Anil Desai Mumbai amid the ongoing Indian general election. Desai is a Lok Sabha candidate from the Shiv Sena (UBT) party.

In the video, which is almost two minutes long, various party supporters can be seen bursting firecrackers as Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders move around in a vehicle. Symbols and flags of Shiv Sena (UBT) and its allies—the Congress, National Congress Party (NCP), and their coalition, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA)—can also be seen in the video.

One user posted this video with the caption, "This is Uddhav Thackeray candidate Anil Desai's campaign in Chembur with the Pakistani flag to appease minority voters #ModiMagicInMumbai (sic)." Archived version of this post and similar ones making the same claim can be found here, here, here, and here.


Screenshots of viral posts claiming that the Pakistani flag was raised at the Shiv Sena (UBT) roadshow in Chembur, Mumbai. (Source: X / Modified by Logically Facts)

Desai, a candidate from the Uddhav Thackeray-led party, will compete in his first political contest against current Member of the Parliament (MP) Rahul Shehwale, from the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena, for the Mumbai South Central constituency. Voting will take place on May 20 in 13 Lok Sabha constituencies of Maharashtra in the fifth phase of the election.

Videos making the claim that the Pakistani national flag was raised at his rally have gained lots of traction on social media. However, we found out that the flag seen at Desai's roadshow was not a Pakistani flag but an Islamic flag.

What are the facts?

We were able to spot Desai in a frame in the viral video, showing that it does depict a roadshow he held. We then checked Desai's official verified Facebook account and found that he had posted photos (archived here) and a video (archived here) of a rally held in Chembur on May 15. 

We then established that the viral video was also shot in Mumbai's Chembur. Taking a cue from the flyover and a building visible in the viral video, we were also able to geolocate the spot to Lokhande Marg in Chembur. We were also able to spot the same retail outlets seen in the viral clip that are visible in the latest Google Street View images.

Several structures seen in Google Street View of Lokhande Marg in Chembur can be spotted in the viral clip (Source: GoogleMaps/X/ Modified by Logically Facts) 

Looking at the green flag seen in the viral clip, one can note that it is not Pakistan's national flag. The actual Pakistani flag is green with a thick white vertical band on the side of the flagstaff. A tilted white crescent moon and a five-pointed star are centered in the green field. 

However, the flag seen in the viral video has a crescent moon and a star that are slightly straightened and shaped slightly differently. Five small stars are distributed around the center of the claimed flag, which is absent in the actual Pakistani flag. Additionally, this flag has no white band on the left.

A comparison between the actual Pakistani flag and the flag in the viral video. (Source: Unsplash/ X / Modified by Logically Facts)

The flag seen in the viral clip is actually an Islamic flag that is hoisted by several mosques, Muslim households, and Islamic organizations throughout the world, sometimes with a few modifications. Stock photo website Alamy’s picture of the Islamic flag shows very similar features to the flag seen in the video minus the five small stars. Islamic flags are a more general representation of Islamic beliefs and can vary in design with a focus on the color green and Islamic symbols, as seen in the viral video. A flag closely resembling the one in the clip is also available on e-commerce platforms.

A similar flag, as seen in the viral clip, was available for sale on an e-commerce platform, where it was identified as an Islamic flag. (Source: Screenshot/ Flipkart/ Modified by Logically Facts) 

We also found no credible reports about a Pakistani flag being spotted at Desai's rally in Chembur.

Some outlets have claimed (archive here) that the flag in question is of the Indian Union Muslim Union League (IUML), however it does not match their official one. Waved in rallies, the IUML flag usually shows the crescent moon facing the flagpole. However, the flag in the viral clip shows the moon facing away from the pole. 

A comparison between the Indian Union Muslim League official flag and the flag seen in the viral video. (Source: Wikipedia/ X /Modified by Logically Facts)

Logically Facts has previously debunked similar claims where Islamic flags at rallies were misidentified as the national flag of Pakistan. You can read the fact-checks here and here.

The verdict

The viral video circulating on social media claiming to show a Pakistani flag raised during an election rally held by Shiv Sena (UBT) Lok Sabha candidate Anil Desai is false. The flag in the video is the common Islamic flag that is used in various religious gatherings. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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