Trump fans turn US flags upside down to protest former president’s conviction

David Swanson/Reuters

Supporters of former President Donald Trump, including one holding an inverted American flag, rally in Thousand Oaks, California, on June 1, 2024.


Hanging the United States flag upside down, a move that is supposed to signal distress and that has ensnared Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in controversy, is now being practiced by supporters of Donald Trump to protest the former president’s conviction in his hush money trial.

Prominent Trump supporters such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and former national security adviser Michael Flynn posted pictures of upside-down flags on social media soon after a New York jury found Trump guilty Thursday. Flynn, a retired three-star general, made the image his profile picture on X.

By Friday, pro-Trump social media accounts were awash with images of inverted flags hanging on porches and lawns across the country. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, posted an image appearing to show the flag hanging upside down above its Washington, DC, headquarters.

In California, dozens of American flags that were placed outside a library in Monrovia in Los Angeles County to commemorate Memorial Day were turned upside down overnight Thursday, local news station KTLA reported.

It is not clear who was responsible for the stunt. “The city was very surprised to learn someone inverted the flags, which were set up in honor of our community’s veterans. We were able to reset them correctly with the help of staff and community members,” Dylan Feik, Monrovia’s city manager, told CNN on Saturday.

The practice of inverting the Stars and Stripes has received renewed scrutiny after The New York Times revealed last month that an upside-down US flag was seen outside the Alito household in January 2021 – at a time when the practice was a symbol for Trump supporters who falsely claimed widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Justice Alito said his wife hoisted the symbol of discontent in response to a neighborhood dispute.

Respect for the flag is outlined in US code, which states, “The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.”

Over the weekend, however, the trend seemed to be gaining steam. Country music star Jason Aldean – no stranger to political controversy – posted an image of an inverted flag to his 4.4 million followers on Instagram after the verdict Thursday, writing, “Scary times in our country right now, man. When a former POTUS gets treated like this by our justice system, what does that mean for the rest of us?” By Saturday, the post had almost half a million likes.

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