(Reuters) – An American flag was photographed hanging upside down at the Virginia home of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in January 2021, weeks after the Jan. 6 protests, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

It was not clear if the upside-down flag was meant to signal support of former U.S. President Donald Trump, the Times reported. Alito told the paper that his wife hung the flag in response to signs in neighbors’ yards.

“I had no involvement whatsoever in the flying of the flag,” Alito told the Times in an emailed statement. “It was briefly placed by Mrs. Alito in response to a neighbor’s use of objectionable and personally insulting language on yard signs.”

The Supreme Court did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment from Alito.

The paper reported that the upside-down flag was photographed at Alito’s home in Alexandria, Virginia on Jan. 17, 2021, by neighbors who were alarmed by the symbolism. The Times said it recently obtained those images and included one in its report.

According to U.S. code for the flag, the flag should never be displayed upside down “except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.”

Some Trump supporters displayed upside-down American flags in support of Trump following the 2020 presidential election, the Times said.

Trump, the Republican incumbent, was defeated by Democrat Joe Biden in that election.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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