Libya buzzing with old flags, new freedom

Residents stand on a tank holding a pre-Gadhafi era national flag inside a security forces compound in Benghazi, Libya on Monday, Feb. 21, 2011. AP Photo

Residents stand on a tank holding a pre-Gadhafi era national flag inside a security forces compound in Benghazi, Libya on Monday, Feb. 21, 2011.
AP Photo

CBS News' Mandy Clark describes the scene in Libya after entering the country through Egypt.

I'm across the border in Libya. We're heading to Tobruk. Right now there's a man passing me holding two old Libyan flags, which are pre-Qaddafi era. And he's giving the sign of victory, and that's what we're seeing all over since we've got into Libya - people welcoming us to a free Libya.

We've been offered rides to anywhere we want to go. People want news crews in here to report what's happening. They're offering as many people as they can lift to get to where they need to go.

Entering here was quite difficult - going through on the Egyptian side, there were layers upon layers of security. And they certainly made you feel that you weren't going to get into Libya. But, after you had passed the last Egyptian checkpoint, you headed to the Libyan one.

There was kind of a rag-tag militia with mismatching uniforms. They were deeply friendly; they kept on saying "welcome, welcome." When they asked who we were with, we said "CBS America."

They said, "Welcome CBS. Welcome all international media."

Photos: All Eyes on Libya

And they drove us. They're offering free lifts. The people and the mood certainly is jubilant.

It's not a new liberation flag, it's actually the Libyan flag before Qaddafi. It's the old Libyan flag, and people are waving it as a sign to show that the old Libya is back and that Qaddafi is gone.

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  • Mandy Clark

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