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CNN mistakes sex toy sign for Islamic State flag

Though reporters seemed to grasp the inauthenticity of the flag, they failed to recognize the nature of the symbols.

By Brooks Hays
CNN mistakes sex toy sign for Islamic State flag
CNN reported the appearance of an apparent Islamic State flag at a pride event in London. Photo by CNN/screenshot

LONDON, June 27 (UPI) -- On Saturday, CNN ran an entire segment on the possible sighting of an Islamic State flag at a pride parade in London.

"Just in: ISIS flag spotted at gay pride parade," read a banner stretching across the bottom of the news channel's TV feed as cameras repeatedly panned and zoomed in on what turned out to be a flag featuring crude drawings of sex toys.

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"ISIS flag amongst a sea of rainbow colours was spotted by a CNN international assignment editor," CNN's anchor said.

The flag was apparently spotted by CNN International reporter Lucy Pawle, who joined the segment via phone to talk about her startling discovery.

"This man dressed in black and white was waving what appears to be a very bad mimicry, but a clear attempt to mimic, the ISIS flag," Pawle said. "The black and white flag with the distinctive lettering."

Though Pawle seemed to grasp the inauthenticity of the flag, she failed to realize the humor in it and even reported it to nearby police.

"If you look at the flag closely, it's clearly not Arabic. In fact, it looks like it could be gobbledygook."

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CNN's mistake quickly went viral, earning derision from a variety of online news sources. CNN has since removed the video from their website. Mediaite, however, posted a clip of the incident for posterity's sake.

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