White House press secretary Sean Spicer opened the daily briefing Friday sporting an upside-down American flag lapel pin, leading many to joke it was a “cry for help” from the president’s most prominent spokesman.
An upside-down flag is “a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger,” according to the United States Flag Code. It’s also recognized as a form of protest against the government.
Twitter users watching the briefing quickly took notice of the faux pas.
Sean Spicer's American flag pin is upside down. Upside down flag is a distress symbol. Headline: Metaphor Delivers Press Conference.
— Erin ????Gloria???? Ryan (@morninggloria) March 10, 2017
DISTRESS SIGNAL?? Sean Spicer's American flag lapel pin is upside down. What does he know that we don't?? pic.twitter.com/OOINnjGvBw
— Ben Bradley (@BenBradleyTV) March 10, 2017
Spicer's flag pin appears to be upside down. traditional SOS signal…
— Erik Wasson (@elwasson) March 10, 2017
spicer with his flag pin upside-down, told it's upside-down, & "fixing" it but leaving it upside-down, is the best metaphor for the Trump WH
— Mдтт Иegяiи (@MattNegrin) March 10, 2017
UPSIDE DOWN FLAG PIN! SPICER IS COMPROMISED! INITIATE OPERATION SPICER EVAC!!! pic.twitter.com/7Ujd4sb4eR
— Rex Huppke (@RexHuppke) March 10, 2017
Is Spicer's upside down flag lapel pin a distress signal? Blink twice if you need help, Sean. pic.twitter.com/hORrfBD94n
— ????Maggie Serota ???? (@maggieserota) March 10, 2017
Spicer's flag pin is upside down. That's a distress signal. Press corps, help the man out! pic.twitter.com/6wRDtaGUjO
— Dave Jamieson (@jamieson) March 10, 2017
Fox News’ John Roberts alerted Spicer to the mistake, which he then corrected. Another reporter in attendance asked if Spicer was promoting “House of Cards,” which uses an upside-down flag for its logo. The Twitter account for the show quickly retweeted an image of Spicer before he fixed his pin and wrote, “Your loyalty has not gone unnoticed.”
Your loyalty has not gone unnoticed. https://t.co/ba1kz1yvXF
— House of Cards (@HouseofCards) March 10, 2017