Fact Check: London Officials Did NOT Take Down UK Flag To 'Maintain Peace' -- It Was Being Cleaned

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: London Officials Did NOT Take Down UK Flag To 'Maintain Peace' -- It Was Being Cleaned Cleaning It

Did London officials take down a United Kingdom flag before a march in support of Palestinians to "maintain peace"? No, that's not true: According to an X post from the local police, the flag was taken down to be cleaned. A Google News search of thousands of credible information sources using related key words did not supply evidence that the flag was taken down to maintain peace during the march.

The claim appeared on X, formerly Twitter, (archived here) where it was published on November 4, 2023. The X post read:

In London, officials took down the UK flag 🇬🇧 before today's Palestine march to "maintain peace." A stark reminder that these protests are not only against Israel.

Meanwhile, the Palestine marches waving flags and calling for genocide without fear or interruption.

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-11-06 at 10.55.34 AM.png

Twitter screenshot(Source: X screenshot taken on Mon Nov 6 15:46:16 2023 UTC)

The user used quotes in their post, but does not attach them to a specific London official or department. The user also did not post any other evidence that the flag was taken down to maintain peace.

London's Metropolitan Police posted on X saying that officials contacted the UK Government Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which confirmed that the flag was taken down for cleaning ahead of World War I commemorative events. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is responsible for the flags in that specific location in London called The Cenotaph. The post is below and can be seen here (archive here):

A Google News search of the phrase, "UK flag taken down to maintain peace AND Palestine march" did not yield any relevant results that would corroborate this claim (search archive here).

Other Lead Stories articles on the 2023 Hamas-Israel conflict are here.

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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