Fact check: Joe Biden didn’t take a knee upon seeing a flag; he was talking to a child

The claim: Presidential candidate Joe Biden kneels in the street upon seeing a U.S. flag

A Facebook post with a picture of former Vice President Joe Biden kneeling at his childhood home in Scranton, Pennsylvania, has gone viral for claiming that he kneeled because he saw an American flag nearby.

The caption on the post reads, “Joe Biden takes a knee after spotting an American flag near his childhood home in Pennsylvania.”

The poster, Renee Hudson Perfecto, also added this comment to the post: “And he wants to be President of this great Country? If he will bend a knee to our flag for the mob, what will he also bend for with foreign envisions (sic) and other Countries? Wow! Never vote for someone this weak!”

USA TODAY has reached out to the poster for comment. 

Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden kneels to talk with a child during a visit to Biden’s childhood home in Scranton, Pa., on Thursday, July 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Biden’s visit to Scranton

Outrage over systemic racism has led to many athletes kneeling during the national anthem. The post appears to tie Biden to that movement.

But Biden was actually kneeling to speak to a child at eye level outside his boyhood home in, while on a visit to Scranton.

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This view from C-SPAN shows that Biden is simply speaking to a young child. “How old are you? This many,” Biden asked while holding up four fingers.

This view from DailyMail.com shows a nearby house did have an American flag hanging outside the home, but Biden’s attention was not on the house, nor the flag, but rather the conversation he was having with the child.

Further, the photo, taken by Matt Slocum for the Associated Press, has this caption: “Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden kneels to talk with a child during a visit to Biden’s childhood home in Scranton, Pa., on Thursday, July 9, 2020.”

Our ruling: False

We rate this claim FALSE because it is not supported by our research. Biden was kneeling to speak at eye level with a child.

Our fact-check sources:

  • Renee Hudson Perfecto, July 11, 2020, Facebook post
  • C-SPAN, Joe Biden Visits Childhood Home In Scranton, Pennsylvania 
  • DailyMail.com. Biden kneels outside his boyhood home while on the campaign trail
  • AP Images, July 9, 2020, in Scranton, Pa.
  • PolitiFact, Photo shows Biden kneeling to talk to a child, not because he saw an American flag
  • Lead Stories, Fact Check: Biden Did NOT Kneel At An American Flag In His Hometown

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Joe Biden didn’t kneel upon seeing flag on Scranton visit

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