San Diego Air Museum’s Independence Day post sparks Twitterstorm over Su-25s smoking Russian colors
The Fourth of July has probably been quite a day for San Diego’s Air and Space Museum and Education Center (SDASM), which encouraged visitors to come and honor “some of the greatest heroes in aerospace history.” What the museum really meant by the appeal is a mystery, but its Twitter account unexpectedly posted an image of six Soviet-built Su-25 Frogfoot jets trailing smoke in the white, blue and red of the Russian tricolor.
#HappyIndependenceDay, from our family at the San Diego Air and Space Museum to yours! We will be open today during our regular business hours, 10:00AM - 4:30PM. Join us in honoring some of the greatest heroes in #aerospace history! pic.twitter.com/40vhNQLzD6— SD Air & Space (@SDASM) July 4, 2018
Su-25s are frequently employed to make flyovers during various celebrations across Russia, such as Victory Day or Independence Day – otherwise known as Russia Day – but they have seldom seen any action during American patriotic festivities.
Soon after the post went public, a massive ‘Twitterlanche’ ensued, with some eagle-eyed users informing the museum that they had mistaken the Russian tricolor for traditional red, white and blue colors of the American banner.
Red White & Blue not White Blue & Red... Oh also those are Russian Military Aircraft not US but hey why doesn't it surprise me? 😂🤷🏻♂️— Aircraft Spots (@AircraftSpots) July 4, 2018
Others tried to pedal collusion allegations, claiming that the Trump camp was behind all of that.
This has been up for over two hours. Deplorable. Or are you jumping the gun on the announcement that our president has sold our country to Putin?— Mary Michel Green (@marymichelgreen) July 4, 2018
Uh, aren’t those Russian SU25s using coloured smoke to represent the Russian flag 🇷🇺 ?Or is this just a not-so-subtle subtweet on the state of the current US administration?— Parker Benchley (@ParkeBench) July 4, 2018
Some Twitterati simply wondered what Russian planes had to do with Independence Day.
It’s the American independence day, right? Why are you showing Russian SU-25 aircraft?— Rakesh 🇺🇸🏳️🌈🇦🇶🍺☕️🍰 (@densaer) July 4, 2018
Since when did we start buying Russian?— Timothy (@x102reddragon) July 4, 2018
You must be joking! Try American aircraft. Or have just surrendered— Leah (@Leah64299466) July 5, 2018
Trolling aside, some responsible users browsed the web to establish the origin of the photo, and took screenshots of search results. According to a preliminary Google search, the image may have originated from Russia Day celebrations on June 12 in St. Petersburg.
Another user tried to help the San Diego Air and Space museum avoid confusing American and foreign-made aircraft.
The SDASM, which opened its doors to visitors in 1963, says it has “one of the richest aviation heritages of any city in the country.” Notable artifacts displayed by the museum include the reproduction of the 1902 Wright glider, the B-24 Liberator, as well as the Apollo IX Command Module.
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