Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
bearded villains

Bearded hipsters may rethink lifestyle choices - after being mistaken for ISIS

The Bearded Villains, a club of, well, bearded men, were mistaken for Islamic State soldiers by Swedish police.

A CLUB OF bearded men posing for a photograph in the Swedish countryside with their black flag was mistaken for IS militants, prompting a visit by the police.

Andreas Fransson, 32, was with his bearded buddies on Saturday outside the ruins of Brahehus castle in southern Sweden when two police officers turned up.

“They told us that a motorist thought he had seen a gathering of IS terrorists,” said Fransson, whose Bearded Villains organisation does charity work.

On grasping the situation, the two officers “had a good laugh” and got back in their patrol car “with smiles on their faces,” said Fransson who works in public relations.

Bearded Villains Sweden / YouTube

Bearded Villains Sweden / YouTube

He acknowledged that the club’s flag – two crossed sabres on a black background – could easily be confused with that of the Islamic State group.

“We belong to a club that is part of an association created in the United States, called the Bearded Villains and which fights against injustice, homophobia, racism and oppression,” Fransson said.

bearded1 "We're moving in next door" - the Bearded Villains at Brahehus Castle, Sweden

bearded flag2 The offending flag

The flag gets passed from club-to-club around the world and we take pictures with the flag to show our community.
It was a funny incident but it’s a shame to be associated with IS given our charity work.

bearded5 Bearded Villains flag on the left, ISIS flag on the right

Last week, an engineering school in southern France called ISIS ran into trouble with Canadian customs agents worried over a possible link to the jihadist group, which also uses the same acronym.

Additional reporting Cianan Brennan

© – AFP, 2015

Read: Hillary Clinton is going to Vegas tonight – but not to gamble

Read: Man survives six days in Outback by eating ants

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.