Fact Check

Lil Wayne Tramples U.S. Flag

Rumor: Video shows rapper Lil Wayne trampling on a U.S. flag while shooting a music video.

Published Jun 18, 2013

Claim:   Video shows rapper Lil Wayne stepping on a U.S. flag while shooting a music video.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, June 2013]

I saw a four part photo supposedly with rapper Lil Wayne dancing on the US flag. Is this true or fake?


Origins:   Video footage reported by TMZ and posted on YouTube in June 2013 showed rap star Lil Wayne (the stage name of Dwayne Michael Carter) stepping, dancing, and/or trampling on an American flag during the shooting of a music video for his song "God Bless Amerika" in New Orleans:

Lil Wayne trampled the American flag over the weekend ... and there's footage.

Weezy performed the stunt while shooting his new music video for "God Bless Amerika" in New Orleans.

During the shoot, Wayne begins rapping in front of a giant American flag which is released to the ground. After it's on the floor, Wayne continues to rap while stepping all over the stars and stripes.


However, what was seen in the YouTube video was not intended as a depiction of flag-trampling or desecration to be used in the finished product. Rather, Lil Wayne was shot singing in front of an American flag backdrop for about the first 1:15 of the video, then the backdrop was pulled down to reveal the people behind it. Lil Wayne did step on the flag backdrop after it fell to the ground, but that action was incidental to what was being shot for the video, as neither his feet nor the flag was in the frame of the camera after the latter was dropped:

After the video was publicized, Lil Wayne took to Facebook to explain that what the video captured was part of a shot that would not appear in the finished video and was not intended to portray desecration of the U.S. flag:

It was never my intention to desecrate the flag of the United States of America. I was shooting a video for a song off my album entitled "God Bless Amerika". The clip that surfaced on the Internet was a camera trick clip that revealed that behind the American Flag was the Hoods of America. In the final edit of the video you will see the flag fall to reveal what is behind it but will never see it on the ground. In most people eyes including my own who were raised in that environment, the Hood is the only America they know and the only America I knew growing up. I was fortunate from my God giving talents to escape the Hood and see the other beautiful places this country has to offer but most people who are born in that environment don't get that chance. That's their view of their America. That was Dwayne M Carter from Hollygrove New Orleans view of America. That's who I'm speaking for in this song.


The completed video indeed showed neither the flag lying on the ground nor Lil Wayne trampling on it:

Last updated:   8 May 2015


    McKay, Hollie.   "Lil Wayne Defends Trampling American Flag While Shooting New Video."

    FoxNews.com   18 June 2013.

    TMZ.com.   "Lil Wayne Tramples American Flag."

    17 June 2013.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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