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McDonald’s restaurants didn’t remove American flags nationwide

September 17, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: McDonald’s removed its American flags nationwide in support of antifa and Black Lives Matter. 

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. A McDonald’s USA spokesperson confirmed this claim is not true and there is no coordinated effort to remove American flags from its restaurants. 

THE FACTS: Twitter and Facebook users this week spread a false rumor about America’s largest fast-food chain in posts collectively shared more than 10,000 times.

“McDonald’s removes their American flags in support of Antifa & BLM nationwide,” the posts read. A Facebook post added the hashtag “#boycottMcDonalds.”

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A McDonald’s spokesperson told The Associated Press there is no truth to this claim. There is also no evidence to support it in recent news reports. 

The company recently published a statement on its website saying that Black lives matter and announcing donations to the National Urban League and the NAACP. It also announced a new diversity and inclusion initiative on July 30. 

McDonald’s has not published any public statements about antifa, short for anti-fascist, an umbrella term for left-leaning militant groups that oppose white supremacists at protests.

“McDonald’s unequivocally stands behind the need for equality and social justice, and these rumors are not true,” the company told The Associated Press in a statement.

The false claim comes as some demonstrations across the U.S. in recent months have led to violent clashes between far-left and far-right groups.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536