Garwood, NJ (WPIX) — A New Jersey man has raised a flag that is causing concern among his neighbors.
The man recently hung an ISIS flag outside his home in Garwood. When a picture was posted onto Twitter, neighbors on Winslow Place called the police.
The flag, which represents an Islamic extremist group responsible for violence in Iraq, has since been removed from display and replaced with a Turkish flag. Even so, neighbors still wonder why the flag was there to begin with.
PIX11 has confirmed the flag was on display at the home for at least three weeks.
“I just hope the authorities handle it from here.” said retired Jersey City police officer Ed Bergin, who lives doors away from the home. “For a man to fly a flag like that, authorities have to get involved in it.”
The man technically cannot be arrested for displaying a flag on his property, but he is on the radar of several law enforcement agencies. Neighbors say police visited the man Tuesday.
Bergin described the man as a loner who does not talk to anybody and always looks straight ahead.
The man told NJ.com that he has flown the flag outside his home during Ramadan and on Fridays for about 10 years. He said it has never been a problem until a photo of it was posted on Twitter on Tuesday.
“I understand now that people turn on CNN and see the flag associated with jihad, but that’s not the intention of that flag at all,” he told the website. The man explained that the writing on the flag reads, “There is only one god, Allah, and the prophet Muhammad is his messenger.”
“It’s not meant to be a symbol of hate. Islam is all about unity and peace. I am not a part of any group like that, and I’m not anti-American. I love my country, but I am a Muslim,” he said.
The man says he’s hesitant to fly the flag now because of all the controversy.
“I would love to fly it again on Friday. I hope this situation goes away,” he said.