How Satire about the Rainbow Flag Became a Source for Russian Disinformation

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Over the course of the last few days, claims that the colours of the Ukrainian flag have been added to the rainbow flag went viral on social media (1,2). In addition to the altered version of the rainbow flag, social media users have been circulating a quote from Oleksiy Arestovych, the Adviser to the president of Ukraine. According to the description, Arestovych noted that adding the colours of Ukraine to the rainbow flag signifies the recognition of the Ukrainian Armed Forces by the LGBTQ+ community and the unprecedented victory over the global evil.

The claim that the colours of Ukraine were added to the rainbow flag is false. The information first appeared as a satirical post on Twitter.

The altered version of the rainbow flag, which now includes the colours of the Ukrainian flag, was first disseminated in the form of a satirical post on Twitter. The tweet was published by the user ‘ARYANFAGGOT’ on May 22nd.

On May 25th, after other Twitter users started disseminating the photo without indicating its satirical nature, the author of the post published the screenshot of the article by ‘Know your meme’ – a platform for humorous images and memes.

The article states that the photo had an ironic intent at first; however, other social media users started disseminating it as authentic information.

The Russian-language social media users primarily relied on the Twitter accounts created against the democrat mayor of Boston, Michelle Wu.

The anti-Wu Twitter account is one of the accounts that have disseminated satirical posts in the form of real information.

As for the quote of Oleksiy Arestovych, the information that Arestovych indeed made a statement about the Pride flag cannot be found in credible open sources.

Disinformation about the addition of Ukrainian flag colours to the Rainbow Flag was also verified by fact-checkers from Reuters and Check Your Fact.

Messages with homophobic content against Ukraine were fact-checked by the “Myth Detector” in the past as well. See our articles:

The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.

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Topic: Identity
Violation: Disinformation
Country: Russia, Ukraine

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