Humor Urban Legends Barack and Michelle Obama's Left-Handed Flag Salute Share PINTEREST Email Print Urban Legends Rumors & Hoaxes Urban Legends in the News Classic & Historic Legends Animal Folklore Scary Stories By David Emery David Emery is an internet folklore expert, and debunker of urban legends, hoaxes, and popular misconceptions. He currently writes for Snopes.com. our editorial process David Emery Updated January 14, 2020 01 of 02 Barack and Michelle Obama's Left-Handed Flag Salute Viral image A widely circulated viral image appears to show President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama saluting the flag by placing their left hands (instead of their right) over their hearts. This image, circulated since December 2009, is a hoax. Forwarded email, Dec. 28, 2009 FW: Clueless.....Now is it just me, are both of them as dumb as they appear. I guess this could have been taken in a mirror which would screw it up, or maybe it is authentic. I would not doubt it being authentic!!!! Note both have rings on their ring finger and most likely on their left hand. I think they are truly clueless!!!!His suit coat is buttened correctly, so it is not a mirror image.These people are so clueless. They are not Americans.GOD BLESS AMERICA Forwarded email, Sep. 6, 2010: Subject: FW: Unbelievable!A picture is worth a Thousand Words????DING BAT AND DUMBOI can't believe these two! Amazing!YOUR RIGHT HANDS DUMBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Mr And Mrs. Clueless! What's wrong with this picture?Gotta be the dumbest fools to ever hold the office of President, anywhere.How embarrassing to have this as our President and first lady? When you've never done the pledge allegiance, you don't know what to do!Must be the Muslim way.At first I thought the picture was reversed, but the wedding rings indicate that it’s right. (Unless they have them on the wrong hands too.)(THE LAPEL PIN IS ALSO A PRETTY GOOD INDICATION.)It's in our hands, November 2010 & 2012! 02 of 02 Analysis The picture above is a doctored mirror image of a press photo taken during a ceremony commemorating the victims of 9/11 on the South Lawn of the White House, September 11, 2009. The original is credited to AP photographer Charles Dharapak. The doctored version boasts photoshopped wedding bands and reversed jacket buttons to make it appear as though the image hasn't been tinkered with. The ruse is spoiled by the medals on the uniform of the Marine standing in soft focus behind the President, however. They're on the wrong side of his chest. Nor was Mr. Dharapak the only photographer present at the occasion. Other images of the same ceremony clearly show the President and Mrs. Obama standing with their right hands over their hearts during the playing of Taps. Note: A similar hoax circulating in 2002 purported to show Sen. Tom Daschle saying the pledge of allegiance with his left hand over his heart.