Members of Congress Refuse to Stand for Pledge of Allegiance-Fiction!

Members of Congress Refuse to Stand for Pledge of Allegiance-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:
An image shows Democratic members of Congress refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Truth:
This image shows Democrats in the New York State Senate who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in 2009 — not members of Congress.
Claims that Democratic members of Congress can be seen refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in the image began circulating on social media in late April and early May of 2017. It’s not clear how, exactly, the image was first misidentified, but countless posts like this one have repeated the false claim that it shows members of Congress:

congress sits
Democratic members of the New York State Senate sitting for the Pledge of Allegiance in 2009 have been misidentified as members of Congress.

The image dates back to the New York State Senate’s 2009 “leadership crisis.” Enough Democratic senators broke ranks with the party to restore Republican control of the body. The image shows Democrats protesting as Republicans open a session to authorize reorganization of Senate leadership. A 2009 New York Timesstory summarizes the sequence of events:

The toppling of Democratic control unfolded in swift and stunning fashion shortly after 3 p.m. as senators gathered in the lofty oaken chamber for what seemed like small-bore legislative action on an uneventful afternoon.

Then, Senator Tom Libous, a Binghamton Republican, offered a resolution to reorganize the Senate leadership, a parliamentary maneuver that captured the entire Capitol’s attention. Within minutes, reporters, staff members and Assembly members rushed to the Senate, crowding the chamber floor.

Democrats tried to stall the move, storming from the chamber and turning out the lights, but the Republicans continued the session as the two Democrats joined with them to elect new leaders.

The misidentified image was taken from a local TV station’s coverage of the “leadership crisis.” A reporter explains in this video that as Republicans tried to open the session with the Pledge of Allegiance, “The Democrats refused to stand and participate. One tried to stand, he was pulled down.”
We’re calling this one “fiction” because New York State Senate Democrats have been misidentified as members of Congress.