June 9, 2020 / 8:32 PM / a month ago

Fact check: Image does not show war memorials damaged during George Floyd protests  

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

Social media users have shared a post containing a composite picture with the suggestion that it shows war memorials damaged during anti-racism protests in the United States.   

While there have been reports of U.S. monuments being marked with graffiti during the ongoing demonstrations ( here ) , the post examined in this check uses imagery that dates from before the current protests. 

The image being shared is a collage of two photographs: the first of a war memorial wall and the second of a Marine Corps plaque broken in two. Examples of posts that have shared the image can be seen here, here and here

The photos were taken several years before the protests. The first photograph is of Philadelphia’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial and can be seen in an article published on March 9, 2016 after several star medallions were stolen from the site (here) .

The second photo was published on April 21, 2014 in a news report about the vandalism of military memorials in Milton and Pensacola. The photo is credited as “News Journal file photos”, indicating that the image may also predate the article. More recently, a monochrome version of the image appears on January 27, 2020 in an article about a bill to increase penalties for veterans’ monument desecration(here)  (here) .


False. While there have been reports of damage to memorials during recent anti-racism protests, the photographs in the post examined by this fact check are from several years ago.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .

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