Is Mike Pence Waving a Confederate Flag in This Photo?

No, but the original version of the photograph stirred up its own controversy.

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mike pence house republicans selfie
Image via Cathy McMorris Rodgers/Twitter

Claim

A photograph shows U.S. Vice President Mike Pence waving a Confederate flag.

Rating

Origin

A photograph supposedly showing U.S. Vice President Mike Pence waving a Confederate flag before many of his Republican colleagues is frequently shared on social media:

This is not a genuine photograph of Vice President Pence waving a Confederate flag.

This digitally manipulated image was created from a 2016 photograph of Pence holding a selfie stick (not a Confederate flag) and taking a picture with many Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The original photograph was posted to the House Republicans Twitter account on Nov. 17, 2016:

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers shared the resulting selfie on her Twitter page: 

Whoever inserted the Confederate flag likely did so as a satirical comment on another aspect of these photographs that spurred public controversy, namely the evident lack of diversity among House Republicans. Mashable, which labeled this photograph the “whitest selfie ever,” broke down the demographics between Democratic and Republican members of the House at the time:

For reference’s sake, prior to this election, the GOP held 247 seats; of those, 10 are held by Hispanic Americans (roughly 4 percent), one identifies as Asian/Pacific Islander (roughly 0.4 percent), and two (Mia Love of Utah and Will Hurd of Texas) are African-American (0.8 percent). Twenty three of the 88 women in the House are GOP members (making up 9.3 percent of the GOP members).

By comparison, Democrats, who hold 188 seats, have 26 Hispanic members (10.5 percent), 10 Asian/Pacific Islander members (5.3 percent), and 43 African-American members (roughly 23 percent). The Dems also have 65 women members (34.5 percent). 

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Sources

Gilmer, Marcus.   “The House GOP Just Took the Whitest Selfie Ever.”
    Mashable.   17 November 2016.

Kurp, Josh.   “Mike Pence Is Being Relentlessly Mocked For Taking Quite Possibly The Whitest Selfie Ever.”
    Uproxx.   17 November 2016.