Fake News: Singer Did NOT Ban American Flag From Concerts, Did NOT Say She Can't Even Look At It While Trump's President

Fact Check

  • by: Ryan Cooper
Fake News: Singer Did NOT Ban American Flag From Concerts, Did NOT Say She Can't Even Look At It While Trump's President

Did singer Lana Del Rey ban the American flag from her concerts and say that she can't even look at it while Donald Trump is president? No, that's not true: Del Rey never banned the flag from her concerts and never made such a statement. Her words from a 2017 interview have been twisted to give an entirely different meaning.

The claim originated from an article published by bollywoodmasaladay.xyz on January 18, 2020, titled "Singer Bans American Flag From Concerts, Says She Can't Even Look At It While Trump's President | Breaking Today" (archived here). It opened:

It's so typical of radical liberals. They pretend to be patriotic Americans, but immediately turn on their own the moment they don't get their way.

REAL patriots love this country no matter what, and will always work to make it better. Grammy-nominated recording artist Lana Del Rey is not a real patriot.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Singer Bans American Flag From Concerts, Says She Can't Even Look At It While Trump's President | Breaking Today

The story uses real quotes from a July 19, 2017, interview Del Rey gave with Pitchfork, an online music website owned by Condé Nast.

In the original article, Del Rey is asked whether it's challenging to be "romantic" about the United States during Trump's presidency. The singer replied:

It's certainly uncomfortable. I definitely changed my visuals on my tour videos. I'm not going to have the American flag waving while I'm singing "Born to Die." It's not going to happen. I'd rather have static. It's a transitional period, and I'm super aware of that. I think it would be inappropriate to be in France with an American flag. It would feel weird to me now--it didn't feel weird in 2013.

Del Rey never said she was banning the flag. A ban of the flag might mean concertgoers, crews, or others could not wear a flag emblem during her concert. She never said that.

She also never said what the headline claims she said: that she cannot look at the U.S. flag because of Trump. That quote never appeared in the original article.

Ever since that story was published, other sites have pulled quotes from the article but twisted the meaning.

On July 24, 2017, a website called conservativepost.com published the same article word-for-word. At the bottom, it cited as source material a Daily Caller story drawing from the same interview that Del Rey gave to Pitchfork. However, the Daily Caller story never mentioned the artist was banning the flag, nor did it make any reference to her saying she couldn't even look at the flag because of Trump.

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  Ryan Cooper

Ryan Cooper, a staff writer and fact-checker for Lead Stories, is the former Director of Programming at CNN International, where he helped shape the network's daily newscasts broadcast to more than 280 million households around the world. He was based at the network's Los Angeles Bureau. There, he managed the team responsible for a three-hour nightly program, Newsroom LA.

Formerly, he worked at the headquarters in Atlanta, and he spent four years at the London bureau. An award-winning producer, Cooper oversaw the network's Emmy Award-winning coverage of the uprising in Egypt in 2011. He also served as a supervising producer during much of the network's live reporting on the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in 2006, for which CNN received an Edward R. Murrow Award.

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