Facts are under assault in 2020.

We can't fight back misinformation about the election and COVID-19 without you. Support trusted, factual information with a tax deductible contribution to PolitiFact

More Info

I would like to contribute

People stand near the Michigan State Capitol to view a protest in Lansing, Mich., on April 15, 2020, over a stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in response to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP) People stand near the Michigan State Capitol to view a protest in Lansing, Mich., on April 15, 2020, over a stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in response to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP)

People stand near the Michigan State Capitol to view a protest in Lansing, Mich., on April 15, 2020, over a stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in response to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP)

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher April 24, 2020

Trump-swastika-Pence banner photo is not from a COVID-19 protest

If Your Time is short

  • A protest against stay-at-home orders in Michigan was held April 15 at the capitol in downtown Lansing.
     

  • The photo of the banner dates back at least to March 2 and appears to have been taken at a park in Boise, Idaho. The banner was intended to be critical of Trump.

A Facebook post shows a photo to suggest that Nazi sympathizers are also Donald Trump fans and protesting stay-at-home orders in Michigan. 

The image is titled, "And there it is — flag flown during Michigan protest in Lansing yesterday." A man holds a banner with the Nazi swastika in the middle. "Trump" is handwritten above the swastika and "Pence" is handwritten below it.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The photo shared in the post is not from the Lansing rally, which was held April 15.

The photo dates back to at least March 2, when a Twitter user included it in a tweet. The user wrote that the photo showed counterprotesters at a rally for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders that she attended at Ann Morrison Park in Boise, Idaho.

Featured Fact-check

It’s not clear from the photo whether the banner was in support of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, or whether it was meant to smear them.

Video that the fact-checking organization Snopes linked to appears to show the same man holding the banner at the Boise event.

Boise news media reported that hundreds of people on Feb. 29 had marched from the capitol to the park, where an event was held in support of Sanders, who ended his campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on April 8.

Our ruling


A post containing a photo of a man carrying a banner that bears a swastika and the last names of the president and the vice president is not from a demonstration in Lansing, Mich., that protested stay-at-home coronavirus orders.

We rate the post False.

Our Sources

Facebook, post, April 17, 2020

Snopes, "Was a Swastika Flag Displayed at Operation Gridlock Protest?," April 17, 2020

KTVB-TV, "Hundreds of Bernie Sanders supporters march in Boise," Feb. 29, 2020

KIVI-TV, "Idahoans take to the streets in support of their political affiliations," Feb. 29, 2020

Reason, "Don't Get Fooled by Fake Photos of Coronavirus Lockdown Protests," April 20, 2020

Twitter, tweet, March 2, 2020

YouTube, video (4:20), March 2, 2020

Twitter, tweet, March 2, 2020

YouTube, "Viral Michigan Pro-Trump Swastika Photo Is a Hoax" video, April 18, 2020

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Tom Kertscher

Trump-swastika-Pence banner photo is not from a COVID-19 protest

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up