A pre-game display by the National Football League’s Green Bay Packers on 30 September 2018 led to accusations on social media that the team did not exhibit a sufficient amount of patriotism during the playing of the national anthem:
To honor all 27 states and two original colonies, of course. https://t.co/fgSjSLujtS
— For The Win (@ForTheWin) September 30, 2018
The source of the criticism was an oddly truncated American flag banner unfurled near one of the end zones at Lambeau Field:
Not sure what country today’s Packers-Bills game is being played in but that’s not my flag pic.twitter.com/XGsk75sPsM
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) September 30, 2018
According to team spokesperson Aaron Popkey, the banner was not meant as a replacement or “redesign” of the existing U.S. flag, but rather as a space-saving device that supplemented the other flags utilized in the pre-game ceremony:
The banner used during Sunday’s pregame ceremony supplemented the three U.S. flags on the roof of the stadium and the flag carried by the color guard on the field. We’ve used such displays from time to time in the past when other pregame elements take up a significant portion of the field. To avoid causing confusion, we will not be using such displays in the future.
The photograph displayed in the above tweet and video footage taken from the stands corroborate that half the field was taken up by a marching band during the pre-game ceremonies, and that a military color guard was on the field holding the U.S. flag alongside the banner while a video display of the flag displayed on the Lambeau Field scoreboard as the anthem played:
All in all, the banner looked something like an upside down version of the flag of the Netherlands, with 27 stars added to the blue stripe:
Ryman, Richard. “Green Bay Packers Used Banners Instead of Flag Before, But Won’t Do It Again.”
Green Bay Press-Gazette. 1 October 2018.