Fact Check

Did Justin Trudeau Pose with a Burning Canadian Flag?

You don't often see national leaders burning their own countries' flags -- and you still don't.

Published Dec. 28, 2018

FILE- In this May 31, 2018, file photo, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario. Canada announced Friday, June 29, billions of dollars in retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. in response to the Trump administration's duties on Canadian steel and aluminum, saying Friday it won't back down. (Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press via AP, File) (Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press via AP)
Image Via Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press via AP
A photograph shows Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau posing with a burning Canadian flag.

An image seemingly showing Canada prime minister Justin Trudeau posing for a selfie with a burning Canadian flag made the rounds on social media in December 2018:

This image was not a genuine photograph, but rather a composite of at least two different images.

The photograph of Trudeau crouching was taken in November 2018 during his trip to Singapore. The original image showed the prime minister posing for a selfie in front of the gravestone of his fourth-great-grandmother. CTV News reporter Kevin Gallagher posted the original photograph on Twitter:

Trudeau's critics later shared that selfie, accusing him of being crass or aloof during his visit to the memorial in Singapore. When someone posted the image in the "politically incorrect" section of 4chan, users made a template of Trudeau in that selfie position and digitally added him into other photographs, including one that featured a burning Canadian flag:

Also noteworthy: The photograph of the burning flag was taken several years before Trudeau became Canada's prime minister in 2015. That image was taken by Tami Starlight of the Vancouver Media Co-Op during a protest at the G20 Summit in Toronto in July 2010.


Hui, Stephen.   "Vancouver Protesters Burn Canadian Flag During March in Solidarity with G20 Detainees, Black Bloc."     Straight.com.   4 July 2010.

Press, Jordan.   "Mixing Business and Family: Trudeau Turns to Singapore Ancestors to Widen Trade."     CTV News.   15 November 2018.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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