A US Army tank crew has been forced to remove an Anarchist flag that was being flown on an armored vehicle in Kuwait.
The tank from the South Carolina Army National Guard was seen with a stylized red ‘A’ inside a circle – a symbol associated with revolutionary political ideologies since the 19th century.
Pictures published by the US Army last week showed the tank from A Company flying the large red and black flag as it took part in training missions in Kuwait.
A crew member wearing a patch on his helmet with a similar circled A and the phrase ‘No Masters’, which is synonymous with the movement, was also in the photographs.
A-112 were pictured conducting gunnery training with other tanks from the battalion in the series of publicity images posted on February 4.
Since the images emerged, the US Army claimed the flag was flown without any intent to make a political statement and has since been removed.
A spokesman apologized and said Alpha Company had to find a ‘tough’ nickname for their lead vehicle that started with an ‘A’.
US Army Lieutenant Colonel Cindi King, a public affairs officer for the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team in Kuwait, said in a statement that the company used the flag without realizing what it represented.
He added that the company will now fly their state flag and come up with another name for their tank that begins with ‘A’.
King told The Drive: ‘They are A company – so it is tradition they nickname their lead tank and company after something that starts with A. There was nothing intended to be disrespectful nor political.
‘They do not want to appear disrespectful or making any type of statement other than they are A company and this nickname sounds tough.
‘To ensure there is no further misunderstanding or appearance of making any statement – these photos are deleted and the unit is notified that this appears to represent something that it is unintended to.
‘They will proudly continue to fly their state flag and US flag and think of something else that begins with A.
‘We apologize if this sent any type of negative message or appeared disrespectful or offensive.
‘They did not want it to come across as any type of political statement.’
Other nicknames used in the 1st Squadron, 150th Cavalry, a unit from the West Virginia Army National Guard include, ‘Bulletproof’, ‘Dealer’, ‘Dinocave’, ‘Don Quixote’ and ‘Dracarys’ from game of Thrones.
The Alpha Company unit is currently deployed in Kuwait to support Operation Spartan Shield the ongoing US mission in the Middle East.
Last month 16 US servicemen were transferred to a military hospital in Kuwait following Iran’s retaliatory missile attack against the Ain Al-Assad Air Base in Iraq.