Symbolism of a New World?
Yes the white flag means surrender. But to interpret it as merely meaning surrender, in this instance, perhaps is to miss the point. Thanks to the recent exploits of ISIS in their macabre institution of an Islamic State, the Islamic black flag — the flag of Jihad — is known to the West. But there is also a universal Islamic white flag — Al-Liwaa — the flag of the Islamic State and of the Leader of the Muslim Army.
Of course, raising the Al-Liwaa aloft the Brooklyn Bridge would be to give the game away. But is this flag designed to be a covert sign to Islam’s true believers that their time, and the time for their world-wide Caliphate, is nigh? It was, conveniently enough, flown above twin Moorish — Islamic type — arches.
What’s It All About, Alfie?
A routine White-House Tweet, or to let the Muslim world know that the Mahdi is here and that he has the crown?
And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. (And there are various arguments about who this verse refers to — some even say that horse and rider are in-fact two distinct characters).
When an army bearing black flags comes from the East from the area of Khorasan (in Iran) or from central Asia, then the appearance of the Mahdi is imminent. When he appears riding on a white horse (literally or symbolically Muslims see the Mahdi as fulfilling the description of the rider on the white horse in Revelation 6) he will lead the army to re-conquer Israel. Jerusalem will then be the location of the Caliphate and the center of Islamic rule. One particular hadith places the timing of this event when a final peace agreement is made between the Arabs and the Romans (interpreted as Christians) and mediated through a Jewish priest. This agreement is for 7 years. He is described as having supernatural power over the wind and the rain and the earth, and flocks will be in abundance. In Antioch, he will discover certain scrolls of the Torah that he will use to convert Jews to Islam. Finally, he will discover the Ark of the Covenant in the Lake of Tiberius and install it in Jerusalem.
Is this a case of wake up and smell the Caliph?
Update: An artistic duo from Berlin, among others, subsequently claimed responsibility for the white flags over the Brooklyn Bridge. They alone seem to have a credible, if unusual, story. See German Artists Say They Put White Flags on Brooklyn Bridge – New York Times, August 12, 2014.