Times reporter Erik Lacitis checked it out, and…
“That’s a Norwegian flag,” said the Norwegian-American man who lives there. “It’s been up there since the start of the Olympics.”
Oops. Unlike the file photo we’re showing in this story, the flag was hanging down on the pole, untouched by the wind.
To her credit, the woman who sent the Times the tip admitted her error and revealed her name, best-selling author Rebecca Morris. But now she’s the subject of stories around the world.
The Times story blew up on social media, and it’s been picked up by the Daily Mail (which believe it or not, is the world’s most popular “news” site) as well as TIME, Sports Illustrated, Breitbart, Russia Today and even the Norwegian channel TV 2.
Not everyone thought it was funny — including some who pointed out it’s not illegal to fly a Confederate flag — so the Seattle Times had to close its comments on the story due to the volume of messages that violated its terms of service. A quick look at Morris’ Facebook page shows a few angry comments, as well.
But one Norwegian resident took it all in stride in a message posted on Facebook.
“The flags are very alike,” he said. “Everyone can do this mistake.”
The story still sits on the top of Seattle Times’ list of most read stories.