SALT LAKE CITY — Authorities said Friday they suspect an Islamic State group's flag found flying outside a southern Utah high school was likely a prank and not the work of the terrorist group.
The flag was discovered Thursday morning at Hurricane High School, along with graffiti on a school wall that said, "ISIS is comi," said officer Ken Thompson of the Hurricane Police Department. The small city is located near the Arizona border.
The American flag had been taken off the flagpole and was found on the ground, slashed a couple of times, he said. A black and flag with white Arabic letters was on the flagpole instead, said Thompson. Police aren't releasing a picture of the flag because they say it is evidence.
The FBI analyzed an image of the Islamic State group flag police sent them and determined it doesn't believe the terrorist group was involved, Thompson said.
An investigation is ongoing. Police are reviewing surveillance video from the school and at nearby businesses and are asking for any information about the suspected prank, he said.
"We're hoping that's what it is," Thompson said.
He said the incident was completely out of the ordinary for Hurricane, a city of about 15,000 residents where tourists visiting Zion National Park often lodge.
A new American flag was put up and the graffiti removed, and classes went on as scheduled after police determined there was no danger, said Steven Dunham, spokesman for the Washington County School District. He said a few of the parents of the 1,000 students kept their children home.
Dunham said the suspected prank "was in horribly poor taste, especially in light of the tragedy in Florida."