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Man arrested after Upper Rock flag incident

A 53-year-old Spanish man was arrested yesterday after a large Spanish flag was unfurled in the Upper Rock, provoking outrage across the community.

The flag was tied to roadside railings and was clearly visible from town.

Police received numerous phone calls from members of the public alerting them to its presence.

“Our switchboard was collapsed with calls,” a police spokesman said.

The 53-year old man, who was not named by the Royal Gibraltar Police, was arrested for conduct likely to cause breach of the peace.

As this edition went to press last night, he remained in police custody but had not been charged with any offence.

Spanish media reports named him as Nacho Mínguez, the president of the Madrid branch of the ultra-right wing political party VOX.

Santiago Abascal, who police here still want to question in connection with the theft of a block from Gibraltar’s artificial reef in 2014, also tweeted about the flag incident.

Sr Abascal, the VOX candidate for prime minister in Spain’s forthcoming general election, posted a video clip of the flag being unfurled with words “mission accomplished”.

Spain’s ABC newspaper also published a video filmed by one of the group of men involved in displaying the flag.

In the video, several men can be seen tying it to a roadside railing and spreading it out over a clearing in the Upper Rock.

Police were alerted to the flag’s display very early on and had detached it by around 2pm, around 20 minutes after it went up.

“What was of most importance was to have the flag removed,” a Royal Gibraltar Police spokesman said.