Wikipedia ‘Editors’ Caught Making Multiple Changes To Pine Tree Flag Page
NOVOSIBIRSK, RUSSIA - NOVEMBER 6, 2019: An illustration shows the logo of the Wikipedia free online encyclopedia.
Kirill KukhmarTASS via Getty Images

Wikipedia editors got caught making multiple real-time changes to its Pine Tree Flag page description to fit the narrative by some about the reason Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was flying a Revolutionary War-Era Flag.

Editors of the online encyclopedia appeared to take a page right out of the dystopian thriller “1984” by changing the flag description to match up with claims coming from the Left calling for Alito to recuse himself from cases involving former President Donald Trump, Twitchy reported. At the time of the report, it had been edited 150 times since May 22.

The slew of edits comes days after The New York Times claimed the flag was “carried by rioters at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021” and is “now a symbol of support for former President Donald J. Trump, for a religious strand of the ‘Stop the Steal’ campaign and for a push to remake American government in Christian terms,” as previously reported.

The Pine Tree Flag, or “Appeal to Heaven” flag, which was originally used by a squadron of frigates commissioned by George Washington at the time of the Revolutionary War, was flown at Alito’s beach house last summer.

According to several screenshots posted on X, the original description of the flag last week on Wikipedia — under the “Modern Usage” portion — described it as a flag used by “a diverse cast of characters, including some Christian nationalists.”

On Friday, the page read that the flag is “a symbol of right-wing extremism.” Another person posted that the flag was now described as a “symbol of Christian nationalism.”


One person noticed that other edits to claim it was a flag used by “far-right” extremists seemed to ignore the fact that the flag was flown at a BLM rally. The picture of the flag at the July 2020 rally is still on the site, one person posted.

Others noted that there had been edits to the “Popular Culture” section, sharing screenshots to back up claims. A Wikipedia page in 2019 read, “The Pine Tree Flag appears with several other Revolutionary flags on the desk of Ron Swanson, a character on the NBC comedy ‘Parks and Recreation.’”

It also used to include that “the Pine Tree Flag is shown in opening credits of all seven episodes of the HBO miniseries ‘John Adams.’ And is shown being carried by colonial forces in ‘Part 1: Join or Die,'” according to screenshots.

The current description at the time of this publication reads, “In the 2020s, the flag was flown at events attended by various far-right groups, Christian nationalists and Donald Trump‘s ‘Stop the Steal’ campaign, along with protests associated with the Black Lives Matter movement  and other causes.”

“Justice Samuel Alito flew the flag at his New Jersey home in 2023, which some criticized because of its presence at past far-right events, despite its lack of historical association with the far-right, and use at protests associated with other causes,” it added.

The latest edit has removed any “Popular Culture” references.

Hank Berrien contributed to this piece.

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