The mayor of Lubbock, Texas, has ordered the removal of a black flag that mysteriously appeared on a multi-story office building in the city Monday.
Mayor Glen Robertson asked City Manager James Loomis to have the flag removed from the building and to take stock of the security there. He has ordered FBI and Homeland Security officials to be notified of the flag, which carried a message of love scrawled in Arabic writing.
The words – “alhab lljamie” – according to an Arabic-speaking source, translate to “love all.”
The flag was cut down shortly after noon Monday.
“I have sent Mr. Loomis an email requesting that we remove the Arabic flag from the Omni building, that we take all steps necessary to secure the building and that Chief [Greg] Stevens notify the Department of Homeland Security, FBI and the Lubbock Sheriff’s Office,” Robertson said in a statement.
“It is premature to come to conclusions before we can gather more facts, but I believe that we must take this situation seriously in light of current national and international events,” the mayor said.
Stevens said the sheriff’s office has received three reports of trespassing since 2014 at Citizens Tower, Fox News reported. The banner is reportedly being investigated as a trespassing violation.
The building is mostly vacant outside of some construction activity.
“Even though the message seems to be innocuous and well-meaning, that was not the best way to go about spreading the message,” Councilman Victor Hernandez told Lubbock Online.
Syrian native Hasan Almekdash, an Arabic language instructor at Texas Tech, suggested that since the flag was found the day after Valentine’s Day, the person behind the stunt may have wanted to spread a message of love. Still, it should have been done another way, he told Lubbock Online.