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- This photo was first shared online in 2015 when the Empire State Building lit up in yellow and blue to recognize World Down Syndrome Day.
UPDATE (Feb. 25, 2022, 8:45 p.m. ET): Following publication of this fact-check, the Empire State Building announced it would be shining its lights in the colors of the Ukrainian flag on the evening of Feb. 25. We have updated the fact-check to reflect that. The rating about this photo claim is unchanged.
An image of the Empire State Building against a dark sky, lit in the yellow and blue colors of the Ukrainian flag, is being shared on social media to illustrate New York City’s solidarity with the Eastern European country under attack from Russia.
"The Empire State Building tonight. Now. #NYC stands with Ukraine 🇺🇦," on Feb. 23 Twitter post said.
"Empire State Building and USA in solidarity with Ukraine," another from Feb. 24 said.
But this image isn’t from February, or even 2022.
The Empire State Building’s verified Twitter account shared the image on the evening of March 21, 2015.
"In honor of World Down Syndrome Day … our tower will beam yellow & blue lights over #NYC this evening," the tweet said.
On Feb. 23, according to a website that tracks the tower’s lights, they were navy blue, white and orange in what’s described as a "private lighting."
On Feb. 24, the lights were their typical "signature white," according to the site.
And on the evening of Feb. 25, the tower — which had been scheduled to show black, red and green lights in honor of Black History Month — announced on Twitter it would "shine its tower lights in the colors of the Ukrainian flag" that night instead.
The tower has nodded to Ukraine before.
In August 2012, the south side of the Empire State Building lit up yellow and blue for Ukraine, which was competing in the Olympics in London. The other sides of the building were lit up for other countries also competing.
A website dedicated to news about Ukraine also posted in August 2005 that "for the second year in a row," the tower displayed "blue and gold" to commemorate the country’s Independence Day on Aug. 24.
We reached out to the Empire State Building to confirm but did not immediately hear back.
We rate claims that this image being shared on social media shows the tower lit up for Ukraine amid the Russian invasion there False.
Tweet, Feb. 23, 2022
Tweet, Feb. 24, 2022
Empire State Building tweet, March 21, 2015
Empire State Building website, Tower lights calendar, visited Feb. 25, 2022
Empire State Building Facebook post, Aug. 1, 2012
Empire State Building tweet, Aug. 1, 2012Global Down Syndrome Foundation, Empire State Building and Denver’s Daniels & Fisher Tower to Light Up for World Down Syndrome Day, March 21, 2015
BRAMA post, Aug. 24, 2005
Empire State Building tweet, Feb. 25, 2022
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