Former Washington Post Editor Admits He Should’ve ‘Pushed Harder’ to Publish Alito Flag Story in 2021 SuperNayr

Former Washington Post editor Cameron Barr admitted he should have “pushed harder” to publish the outlet’s reporting on the upside-down American flag flying from the Virginia home of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. back in 2021.

In January 2021, Alito’s wife, Martha-Ann, told Washington Post Supreme Court reporter Bob Barnes that the upside-down flag — which was embraced by Trump supporters following the 2020 election — was “an international signal of distress,” though the Post never published the report. That is, until the New York Times broke the story earlier this month.

“I agreed with Bob Barnes and others that we should not do a single-slice story about the flag, because it seemed like the story was about Martha-Ann Alito and not her husband,” Barr told Semafor in a Sunday interview, referencing the neighborhood dispute that appeared to be the impetus of the flag.

Barr told Semafor he had suggested the story would focus on the neighborhood disagreement that would include mention of the flag, though that story was never published either.

“In retrospect, I should have pushed harder for that story,” Barr said.


In the Post’s 2024 story on the flag, a Post spokesperson stated the incident was not initially published “because the flag-raising appeared to be the work of Martha-Ann Alito, rather than the justice, and connected to a dispute with her neighbors,” leading to uncertainty if the argument “was rooted in politics.”

While the upside-down flag has long stood as a sign of distress used by the military and protestors in situations of civil unrest, in the months following the 2020 election, Trump supporters used the flag as part of the “Stop the Steal” movement, which claimed President Joe Biden “stole” the election from Trump. Several upside-down flags appeared during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

The Post’s reporting of the upside-down flag at the Alitos’ home in Fairfax County marks one of two flags associated with Jan. 6, as an “Appeal to Heaven” flag was flown from Alito’s beach house in New Jersey. That flag dates back to the American Revolution and is used in far-right circles to signify a “right to revolution.”

Amid reports of the flags, pressure is mounting on Alito to recuse himself from two Supreme Court cases: one regarding Trump’s bid for immunity and the other surrounding Jan. 6.

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