I'm here to share my story. On my second show (NY4) as I did the night before I brought my Peruvian flag neatly folded inside a plastic bag in my purse to the venue, the flag was signed by Bono in Houston in 2009 before the 360 show. I also brought a sign I made on a cloth napkin that depicts a heart made with two bass clefs, one inverted. This sign has come with me to 5 shows of the 360 tour and I had it with me during the NY3 show.
I was number 50 in the line, got my number the night before, I went for the check up times and behaved and waited respectfully.
When it was my time to be searched at the entrance, the woman that was doing so, was really angry and already searching the bag of a guy from Mexico that had a small flag in his bag, she threw all of his stuff on the table and was flipping his things and arguing with him. He was allowed to keep everything and went inside.
When it was my turn, the woman started to pull everything from my bag, she saw my cream colored napkin with the sign inside a clear plastic bag, and scream, What is this? NO SIGNS NO SIGNS, throw it away. I told her, is a napkin. She knew she didn't have a way or point, it was just a piece of cloth, it could have been a handkerchief. She said that signs weren't allowed, now I think about the previous show in which Jimmy Fallon was present and he DID have a sign, and it was part of the skit they did before the performance.
Next thing, she went after was the bag with my flag, a semitransparent bag, again, screaming, what is this? what is this? I was really nervous at that point, I told her it was my flag, and she said, NO FLAGS, NO FLAGS, THROW IT AWAY, I told her is my Peruvian flag, Bono signed it, I can't throw it away, I brought it yesterday and they let me in, PLEASE. No, the woman kept on telling me to throw it away, that no flags were allowed because they didn't want to create controversy. I didn't have an ISIS flag or a Confederate flag, I don't really know what kind of controversy I was going to create with it. Besides I know I have read somewhere that Bono encourages to bring your flags to wave them when they sing 'Streets', the fact that the woman let the man with the Mexican flag get inside that was before me, was upsetting too. The other woman that was in the table told me to 'go outside and hide it'. I couldn't do that, a flag isn't just a piece of cloth, it is a symbol of your nationality. If you, as an individual respect yours, you should respect other peoples flag, you don't simply put your flag in a trash can. So I did the only thing I could do, I went outside and ran the 8 blocks back to my hotel, in the 90+degrees, went to the 11th floor, and ran back, and just so everybody knows, I don't run, I'm glad I didn't have a stroke or pass out, because I was really upset. God was watching over me though, because I happened to bump and fell into Mich's arms and then into Tracy's arms, while they were going to MSG and they told me that they were going to be there in the line, waiting for me. And I happened to arrive just went they were about to enter and they pulled me in, and people around were nice to let me cut into the line.
I really wanted to get a spot on the rail, because at 5 feet tall, it is really hard for me to see if I'm in the middle of floor.
Funny thing, while I was on the line, some spots before me was queuing the girl from Colombia that was pulled on stage by Bono that night, Marcela, we spoke briefly when I finally got inside and told her what happened, and she said that she was allowed to get her flag inside. While she was on stage, Bono asked which countries were there and he said, we have flags from Brazil, Mexico… That was really a slap in my face and a punch to my stomach.
I saw the woman when we got inside MSG, she wasn't screening bags anymore, I don't remember her name, but I do remember her face, and I do remember the horrible moment she made go through.