After the global theatrical release of Oppenheimer, a historical epic directed by Christopher Nolan, a sharp-eyed moviegoer noticed a minor historical error in one of the scenes. Andrew Craig, a director of Election Policy at the Joseph Rainey Center and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, brought attention to the mistake.
A Scene from 1945 with a 50-Star Flag
The error occurs in a scene where Oppenheimer, portrayed by Cillian Murphy, addresses the residents of Los Alamos during a celebration after the detonation of the Trinity bomb. In this scene, a 50-star flag, which represents the present-day United States, is seen flying behind Oppenheimer. However, the correct flag, with 48 stars, should have been used for the historical accuracy of the year 1945.
Andrew Craig explained that the flags’ pattern was the giveaway. The 50-star flag displayed staggered rows, while the 48-star flag had a grid arrangement, making it easier to spot the error.
Possible Theories and Interpretations
While the mistake was evident, some Twitter users theorized that the flag mix-up might have been intentional. They proposed that the colored scenes in the movie were from Oppenheimer’s perspective, while the black and white scenes were from another viewpoint. Thus, the use of the 50-star flag could be considered a memory of Oppenheimer from his present-day recollection, where the US indeed has 50 states.
Despite the minor historical inaccuracy, Oppenheimer has been making waves at the box office, grossing $174 million in its first weekend against a $100 million budget. The movie has already generated substantial Oscar buzz, indicating its potential for recognition in the awards season.
As Oppenheimer continues its theatrical run, the small flag mistake is unlikely to significantly impact the film’s overall reception. The movie has garnered praise for its storytelling and performances, making it a notable addition to Christopher Nolan’s repertoire. Audiences can still enjoy the compelling historical epic in theaters worldwide.