In conspiracy circles, the terms black flag and false flag operation are interchangeable. They are commonly thrown around by conspiracy theorists about almost every event you can imagine. Some well-meaning conspiracy theorist somewhere has labelled everything from school shootings to airplane crashes to terrorist attacks a false flag. So, if you aren’t big on these kinds of things, you might be wondering just what is a false flag operation and why do conspiracy “nuts" like to throw around the term so liberally? Well, you’re in luck, because we are about to take an in-depth look at the cloak-and-dagger world of the mystical, sinister black flag.
Like most things under the broad topic of conspiracy theories, false flag operations are only speculation. No one outside of high-ranking government officials somewhere can actually prove or deny that anything that has ever happened was a black flag operation. Therefore, it is a matter of debate, and unfortunately, a lot of people throw these terms around without a clear path of evidence for how they arrived at that conclusion. So, we can’t just look back at history and say that we have a clear black flag situation. Even in the some of the events that almost everyone in the general public agrees something is not right about we can’t be altogether sure. That only makes it easier for people to point fingers. It’s easy to accuse the government of a massive operation like this against its own people because ultimately no one is going to have any real evidence. No one is ever going to prove a black flag operation happened, because any government in our world that perpetrated such an operation would cover their tracks so well that there is no way anyone would be able to prove it. They also would label anyone that might get hold of some real evidence a “conspiracy theorist," a term that now, thanks to the powerful branding of the mainstream media, equivalent to a nutcase. Put simply, if a government was behind a false flag operation, it stands to reason that they would know what they are doing.
So, what is this false flag operation we speak of? Well, it’s pretty simple. It’s any operation a government perpetrates on its own people and makes it look like it was someone else. Why would they do that? Oh, that list of reasons goes on for miles. The point of a black flag operation is to garner public support for something that they would have never warmed up to without the black flag operation taking place. For example, conspiracy theorists have long pointed to Pearl Harbor as the definition of a black flag. We all know the story that we were told in our history books in school. The Japanese launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, causing the American people to rally together like never before and join World War 2. That’s the official story. Believers in the black flag theory see it much differently. If you look back in history beyond the pages of government propaganda, you will find an America that was very uninterested in becoming embroiled in a war that seemed to most average Americans to be very far away and of little consequence to them. Before Pearl Harbor, there was little support for America getting involved, but after that attack, it became a foregone conclusion that America was in it to win it. The concept of the black flag here is that the American government either perpetrated the attack itself and made it appear like Japan had done it in order to get the public behind what they clearly wanted to do anyway. They also could have known that Japan was about to attack and simply took no countermeasures. In either case, conspiracy theorists would call that a black flag operation. It is a country allowing or doing something bad to their own people in order to get the response they desire.
The response they want from a black flag can come in many different forms. With Pearl Harbor, they wanted the public to have courage and rally behind their nation’s flag. However, in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, another event that many, many conspiracy theorists point to as a watershed black flag moment, the government was looking for something very different. They wanted fear, not courage. They did want public support for an unpopular war they were about to launch regardless. Fear gave them avenues to pass all sorts of laws taking away freedoms that absolutely no one in America would have went for pre-9/11. Much like Pearl Harbor, conspiracy theorists envision it happening a couple of different ways. Some believe the American government literally planned the attacks methodically. Others believe the government simply knew it was about to happen and decided they would not intervene. Even other theories have sprung up that combine those two, suggesting that the American government let the planes strike the buildings but then used explosives to make sure the buildings came down, creating a lasting image in the minds of every American.
These are just two really big, common examples of situations that many conspiracy theorists believe could be a black flag operation. The general public is often very uneducated on these things, mainly because of the selective reporting of the mainstream media and years of brainwashing by government propaganda, including school textbooks. However, there is one black flag operation that is believed in by a majority of Americans, most of which would never consider themselves a conspiracy theorist. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy is one of the most suspected events in history. Almost every American concedes that there’s something not quite right. Many, many people believe the government had something to do with eliminating Kennedy due to his policies on several things at the time. Most notably, Kennedy had a definite beef with the Central Intelligence Agency and was taking steps to disband it permanently. So, black flag operations are not just the psycho babble of conspiracy theorists. There are events that even those that normally blindly follow the words of the government have took notice that maybe something is not quite what it seems behind the scenes.
So, are black flag operations bad? Why do they matter? Is the government not just looking out for us anyway? There are those in our society that believe that black flag operations are necessary at times. Many would point to Pearl Harbor in this regard as well. Looking back now, almost no one would say that it was not vitally important that Hitler was defeated. Almost no one would believe that America could have blindly kept on minding its own business while Hitler marched through the rest of the world. It was necessary, and the American public wanted no part of it at the time. They couldn’t see the implications down the road; they only saw a war they wanted no part of. Many Americans at that time were still wary from World War I. Some would say that the Pearl Harbor attack was necessary. It forced Americans to wake up and smell the coffee. If it was a black flag, can you really look at it and say that it wasn’t worth it? Well, try to tell that to a relative of just one person that died in the Pearl Harbor attacks. Try telling that to just one relative of a person that died in the World Trade Center on that fateful day in 2001. Is it worth it? Is this the only way? Are we sheep so blind that we need our government to take momentous actions such as these to steer us to do what is “right?"
Black flag operations undermine us as citizens. That is not Americans. It’s true wherever you are. While this article has dealt mostly with examples of black flag operations as related to the United States’ government, there are no shortage of examples in other nations throughout the world. As a matter of fact, you can find suspected false flag operations as far back as you can find history books to tell about them. As long as there have been governments in place to watch over people, there have been attempts to mold the common public thinking. Black flag operations undermine us all as citizens of whatever nation or government we pledge allegiance to. They take away our ability to judge situations on facts because they give us a new set of “facts" that we are supposed to lap up like milk and accept without question. It starts from an early age. They also eliminate our ability to tell right from wrong. Look at America’s war on Afghanistan. Was it justice to invade their country and do battle with the Taliban? Was that really something we did to avenge what happened on 9/11? Or was the government planning to do it all along and just needed a really good reason to sell to the American people? Most people now don’t see that war as one that was very necessary. Just imagine how public opinion would have been if that war had been waged without the terrorist attacks that preceded it. Even though you can make a strong argument that one thing has little or nothing to do with the other (remember that the only connection between Afghanistan’s government and 9/11 was that Osama bin Laden had been in the country recently), almost every American has it emblazoned in their mind that the war, for good or ill, was a direct result of the terrorist attack son September 11, 2001. It doesn’t necessarily make it okay in their mind, but there is still this Americanized view that we were the victim and we struck back because our cage was rattled. To a young person in Afghanistan, you can bet the view from their glasses is quite different.
False flags don’t just allow the government to get its way for a short time. They can have long-term implications. The assassination of Kennedy set off a string of events that has literally shaped the lives of everyone that is alive today. A simple walk through any local cemetery in America will show dozens of tombstones of people that either died or served in World War 2. Pearl Harbor changed the landscape of our country and the world. And right now in the present, the events of September 11 continue to affect each and every one of us on a daily basis. We do things differently because of that day. We accept lost liberties under the guise of safety. We accept that air travel means giving up any kind of personal privacy. We regard Muslim people with suspicion, with or without evidence to back it up. That’s the most sinister thing about false flags. Yes, it’s a terrible thought to think that your government could allow citizens of your nation to be killed or to actually kill them just to advance their agenda. That’s pretty sinister. But to think that it results in people all over that same nation regarding other people a certain way under what might be false pretenses is perhaps even more disturbing. False flags don’t just create a moment in time. They create histories. They make our world the way that it is.
In closing, there is one last thing to know about black flag operations. They are unprovable, but assuming they do exist, they are exceedingly rare. Conspiracy theorists point too often at things as false flag operations with no evidence or idea for what motive there might be behind it. This causes people to dismiss all allegations as just more musings by people with overactive imaginations. While it is perfectly healthy for people to question the motivations and actions of their government, simply trying to act like every tragic thing that ever happens is a false flag only convolutes matters worse. We may not be able to prove things, but we can use common sense and reasoning to make educated speculations instead of wild accusations that accomplish little but giving the mainstream media more reasons to give conspiracy theorists their tin foil hats.