Trump Supporters Fly U.S. Flags Upside Down To Protest Guilty Verdict in New York

Upside-down American flags are popping up in real life and online in support of Donald Trump after a New York jury returned with a guilty verdict on all 34 counts against the former president and presumptive Republican nominee.

The symbol, popular among some avid Trump supporters since his 2020 election defeat, has made a resurgence across conservative social media accounts after he was convicted on Thursday of falsifying documents to cover up a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to illegally influence the 2016 election.

Soon after Thursday’s verdict, Trump loyalists, including Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, posted an inverted U.S. flag on X, formerly known as Twitter. By Saturday afternoon, more than 10 million people had viewed it.

Other high-profile supporters include The Heritage Foundation, the conservative group behind the GOP’s Project 2025 playbook. According to Reuters, a Miami chapter of the Proud Boys, a far-right militant group, posted an inverted flag on the message channel Telegram, as did a similar group called Patriot Voice, with the words: “In dire distress.”

The flag has become more prominent in pro-Trump circles after the New York Times reported that the inverted flag was flown outside the Virginia home of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito just over a week after the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters who falsely believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Trump by Joe Biden.

Alito has since claimed that this was all his wife’s decision, resulting from a dispute with neighbors, despite the timeline of the alleged incidents not lining up. The justice has also refused to recuse himself from a pair of upcoming cases concerning Jan. 6 and presidential immunity.

Trump was thrilled when he learned that Alito would stay on the bench.

“Congratulations to United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito for showing the INTELLIGENCE, COURAGE, and ‘GUTS’ to refuse stepping aside from making a decision on anything January 6th related,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “All U.S. Judges, Justices, and Leaders should have such GRIT.”

The U.S. flag code, though not legally enforceable, states that flags should not be flipped unless they portray a sign of “dire distress.”

Still, it was used as a symbol of protest long before MAGA supporters started employing it. The upside-down flag was utilized in the anti-slavery movement in the mid-1800s. Anti-war demonstrations during the Vietnam War used the inverted emblem to criticize the U.S. government’s actions abroad.

In 1974—three decades before Alito became a Supreme Court justice—the court ruled in favor of a university student who hung an American flag with peace symbols on it upside down after the killing of four anti-Vietnam War protesters.

Following the verdict, Trump supporters online have also been calling for a civil war and revolution—a turning against the “traitors” who celebrated the conviction of their candidate.

Flying next to the upside-down flag outside of Trump Tower on Friday was another flag inscribed with a simple message: “Trump or Death,” with the former president’s face sandwiched between the years 1776 and 2024.

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