Justice Alito’s Wife Clarifies Upside-Down Flag as Signal of Distress


Martha-Ann Alito, wife of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, clarified early on that her display of an upside-down American flag was intended as a “signal of distress.”

A report by a now-retired Washington Post journalist included an account of an exchange with Alito on the day of President Joe Biden’s inauguration, published Saturday. When asked about the flag, which at the time was not flying upside down, she explained, “It’s an international signal of distress.” Her husband recently shared that the gesture stemmed from a dispute with their neighbor.

“Ask them what they did,” she remarked to the reporter, referring to the neighbor.

The Alitos’ neighbors had displayed yard signs with offensive language in their cul-de-sac, close to where a bus transports schoolchildren. Alito hung the flag the way she did in response to the signs, which reportedly included personal digs at her.

“I had no involvement whatsoever in the flying of the flag,” Samuel Alito stated regarding the news coverage. “It was briefly placed by Mrs. Alito in response to a neighbor’s use of objectionable and personally insulting language on yard signs.”

Traditionally, the upside-down flag originated as an SOS signal in maritime contexts. Alito, daughter of an Air Force veteran, was born on the Fort Knox military base in Kentucky.

Following the January 6, 2021 riots, Trump supporters began using the upside-down flag, causing many to connect the symbol with the “Stop the Steal” movement.

The Alitos did not attend Biden’s inauguration. Samuel Alito must follow certain guidelines regarding the display of signs or bumper stickers, as justices are not allowed to exhibit any partisan stance.

Samuel Alito has been a member of the Supreme Court since 2006 and has been married to Martha-Ann Alito for over 20 years.

Jenny Goldsberry
Jenny Goldsberry
Jenny Goldsberry covers social media and trending news. She’s a 2020 Brigham Young University graduate with a major in communications and minor in Japanese. She was born in Utah and has previous newsroom experience at the Salt Lake Tribune and Utah’s NPR station.

Latest stories


Related Articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Captcha verification failed!
CAPTCHA user score failed. Please contact us!
Continue on app