Pub group Greene King has instructed its staff to remove the Saudi Arabia flag from hundreds of its pubs after it was deemed “inappropriate” by customers.
The flag contains sacred Islamic text, or Shahada, which says: “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.”
The group said the decision to remove the flags was not solely due to the Muslim faith, which prohibits drinking alcohol, but because of the text being outside of a pub. The flags of other Muslim nations have not been removed from the group’s buntings.
A Greene King spokesperson said: “To celebrate the World Cup, we have been displaying the flags of the participating nations to promote what we hope will be a great tournament for all.
“Following feedback from some customers in London about displaying the Saudi Arabia flag in a pub, we understand it was inappropriate as it contains the religiously-significant Islam Shahada in Arabic and so we have removed it.”