Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Harvard Protesters 'Replaced' U.S. Flag With Palestinian Flag -- U.S. Flag Was Not Flying At The Time

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Harvard Protesters 'Replaced' U.S. Flag With Palestinian Flag -- U.S. Flag Was Not Flying At The Time No U.S. Flag

Does a video show pro-Palestinian protesters at Harvard University replacing the U.S. flag with a Palestinian flag at a university building? No, that's not true: The Palestinian flags were raised when U.S. flags were not flying at the building. The Palestinian flags were removed by campus officials shortly after they were raised by protesters.

The claim appeared in a post published on Facebook on April 28, 2024. The caption of the video read:

Protesters REPLACED the American flag with the Palestinian flag. Notice how quiet all the Israel haters are about these protests? 😡👹

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

harvard flag FB post.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon May 6 15:09:28 2024 UTC)

On April 27, 2024, protesters at Harvard's pro-Palestinian encampment raised three Palestinian flags over University Hall in Harvard Yard. Harvard's student newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, reported on the incident (archived here). The article read in part:

A group of three protesters hoisted the flags over the John Harvard statue in the Yard, where the University sometimes flies the American flag or flags of the countries of visiting foreign dignitaries. As of 6:34 p.m., Harvard University Police officers were calling Harvard Yard Operations to remove the flag.

As the staff removed the flags, protesters yelled 'Shame!' and chanted 'Free, free Palestine' and 'From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.'

Harvard released a media statement on April 27, 2024, clarifying that the U.S. flag was not flying over University Hall at the time the protest took place (archived here). The short statement is reproduced in full below:

The flags raised by protesters over University Hall were removed by Harvard facilities staff. The protesters' actions are a violation of University policy and the individuals involved will be subject to disciplinary action.

Background Points:

  • The American flag was not flying on University Hall at the time the other flags were raised.
  • University procedures are that the American flag is raised on University Hall each Monday through Friday at 7am and lowered at 4pm for proper storage.

Other Lead Stories fact checks related to the Hamas-Israel war can be found here.

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion