In HBO's TV adaptation of the Watchmen, during the pilot episode, the American flag hanging Angela Abraham and her neighbour's porch is really different (image below).

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At first I assumed that the flag might be as such in the said Watchmen universe from the show. However later in the episode while Looking Glass is interrogating a suspect, another American flag is shown in the background, that is same as the real-world flag (image below).

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Click image to enlarge

Is there an in-universe explanation as to what the different American flag stands for?

  • instagram.com/p/Bw7QQZOFTYB/?hl=en
    – Valorum
    Nov 16, 2019 at 20:47
  • loderunner.github.io/flagwaver/… - For a bit of fun
    – Valorum
    Nov 16, 2019 at 20:52
  • @Valorum the flag does intrigue me.. And by the looks of it, it is quite famous on the internet :P
    – Shreedhar
    Nov 16, 2019 at 20:54
  • it was one of the teaser images for the new show. I can't see anyone from the show discussing it though...
    – Valorum
    Nov 16, 2019 at 20:56
  • 1
    Most I've found is a commentary that flags in Watchmen have 51 stars (generally explained as including Vietnam), but no explanation so far about why some of the flags have the stars in the center.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 16, 2019 at 21:01

1 Answer 1


It's the Vietnam flag

In the first episode Angela Abraham recounts to her class that she was born there (post victory by Dr Manhattan) before coming to the US mainland as a child.

In a scenario like Watchmen, the victor is unlikely to "rebrand" so the US would likely only add a star to the existing flag (to keep recognition and fear by their enemies), however the loser (Vietnam) would be changed to have affinity with their new masters.

The traditional Vietnam flag is a simple star in a plain color, this is matched by the circular stars in the stripes of the new flag.

Given Vietnam is a country that has become a state in the world of Watchmen it wouldn't be unusual for its people to use both their flag and the US one.

  • That might explain the flag in Angela’s porch. But What about her neighbors? And later in the other episodes as well?
    – Shreedhar
    Nov 17, 2019 at 15:06
  • Hard to say without speculating. Given Angela is black, it's possible a sizeable contingent of Americans stayed in Vietnam post victory, so maybe the neighbourhood just has a lot of people with history there (similar to southern people who fly the confederate flag?). Given victory would have been a major vote issue for Nixons 3rd term and given the subsequent tensions with the USSR it may have had a cultural effect. Nov 17, 2019 at 15:21
  • 1
    But then that doesn't answer why Judd's coffin was covered with the "stars-in-circle" flag as well.
    – Shreedhar
    Nov 18, 2019 at 8:22

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