No, American flag was not replaced by a Palestinian one at Golden Gate Bridge protest

By: Umme Kulsum
December 15 2023

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No, American flag was not replaced by a Palestinian one at Golden Gate Bridge protest

Social media posts have wrongly claimed that protestors replaced the American flag near the Golden Gate Bridge with a Palestinian flag. (Source: Facebook/X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Misleading

Protestors hoisted the Palestinian flag right below the U.S. flag near San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. The American flag remained intact.

Claim ID 3130ce38

What’s the claim?

A set of two images is making rounds online with the claim that protestors replaced the American flag with a Palestinian flag near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, U.S.A. 

One X (formerly Twitter) user shared the images—one which shows the American flag and the other with the Palestinian flag—with the caption, “Palestinian activists REMOVED the flag of The United States and replaced it with the Palestinian flag at the Golden Gate Bridge (sic).” The post (archived here) was viewed more than 618,000 times at the time of publishing. Archived versions of other similar posts can be found here and here.

Screenshots of claims made online. (Source: X/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, contrary to the claims made online, the Palestinian flag didn’t replace the American flag and was hoisted below it. 

What did we find? 

Both images show a man climbing the flagpole and a group of people standing around the pole’s base. However, only the image with the American flag, which is more zoomed out, shows the pole's top end.

Through reverse image search, we came across similar visuals captured in a video report published on December 6 by KTVU FOX 2, San Francisco-based news outlet.

The footage used in the bulletin was an Instagram live video shared by one ‘Jersey Noah.’ We found that the same person had shared other videos from the incident in question on Instagram. One of the Instagram videos and the viral images exhibit various similarities. A man adorning a red beanie atop the flagpole, and a man supporting a red jacket and standing around the pole with other people could be spotted in both sets of visuals. 

The Instagram video shows that the American flag remained intact and undisturbed on the flagpole while the protestors hoisted the Palestinian flag below it. In the video, Noah claims that protestors tried to replace the U.S. flag with a Palestinian one, yet there is no credible report confirming this action. We were also able to find the same video on Noah’s TikTok account.

Sharing the visuals captured by Noah, KTVU FOX 2 wrote: “A group of protesters hoisted the Palestinian flag so it flew beneath an American flag on the Golden Gate Bridge. The action happened hours after the San Francisco Board of Supervisors introduced a resolution to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.”

Visuals from the same event were also shared by KRON 4, San Francisco Bay Area's local news outlet, on YouTube channel. In this video clip, around the 0:26 mark, a group of demonstrators can be seen hoisting the Palestinian flag just below the American flag on a flagpole near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Therefore, this confirms that a cropped image has been used to show only the Palestinian flag on the flagpole to wrongly claim that it replaced the American flag.

Visuals showing the both flags were hoisted on the flagpole near the Golden Gate Bridge on December 6. (Source: KRON 4/@jersey.noah/TikTok)

According to multiple news reports, San Francisco Supervisors Dean Preston and Hillary Ronan submitted a resolution on December 5 urging a ceasefire in Gaza, officially denouncing the conflict. Subsequently, a demonstration occurred around the Golden Gate Bridge the next day, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. According to KTVU FOX 2, protestors were captured on video chanting, “Pick a side, ceasefire, not genocide.” The outlet added that soon after it was hoisted on the flagpole below the American flag, the Palestinian flag was taken down within 45 minutes. Additionally, one person was arrested associated with the incident.

The verdict
Although a Palestinian flag was raised at the Golden Gate Bridge, the U.S. flag was not removed or replaced from the flagpole. A group of protesters had hoisted a Palestinian flag beneath the American flag. Therefore, we have marked this claim as misleading.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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