FACT CHECK: Viral X Post Falsely Claims Black Flag Raised In Iran Is A Call For Vengeance
A viral image shared on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, purports the Black Flag has been raised over Razavi Shrine in Iran as a call for war or vengeance.
🇮🇷🇮🇱 The Black Flag has been raised over Razavi Shrine in Mashhad, Khorasan province, Iran.
This is a call for war or vengeance. pic.twitter.com/jdbSUPByVB
— Jackson Hinkle 🇺🇸 (@jacksonhinklle) October 17, 2023
The Black Flag is a symbol of mourning in Shia Islam and is typically raised to recognize the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, according to BNN.
Iran has warned of “preemptive” action against Israel amid the country’s preparations to begin a ground offensive on the Gaza Strip, Al Jazeera reported. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said, “resistance leaders will not allow the Zionist regime to take any action in Gaza” in a Monday broadcast, according to the outlet.
“The Black Flag has been raised over Razavi Shrine in Mashhad, Khorasan province, Iran. This is a call for war or vengeance,” the X post, viewed over four million times, purports. The post features an image showing the flag raised over the shrine.
The claim is false, however. The Black Flag is a symbol of mourning in Shia Islam and is typically raised to recognize the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, according to BNN. Amid the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, the flag has been raised to mourn the lives of Palestinians who were killed during an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip, also according to BNN. The image featured in the viral X post also matches that of the image included in the BNN article.
The Black Flag was previously raised over the Razavi Shrine in 2021 to mark the martyrdom anniversary of Hussein, according to Iran Press. Hussein’s martyrdom is commemorated annually a day before Muharram begins, the outlet reported. Muharram is the beginning of the Islamic New Year and represents a time of prayer and reflection, the Times of India indicated.
The Black Flag, which has been raised over the shrine outside of Muharram in a “stark departure from tradition,” has been misrepresented online as signifying a “call to arms or conflict,” according to Daily O. Alternatively, a red flag represents vengeance, the outlet noted.
Likewise, the viral X image has not been included in any credible news reports suggesting Iran has made a call for war or vengeance amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. (RELATED: Video Depicts Failed 2022 Rocket Launch, Not Recent Airstrike On Gaza Hospital)
Check Your Fact has contacted multiple Islam experts for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.