OOPS: Eagle-Eyed Moviegoers Have Spotted A Pretty Huge Historical Error In Oppenheimer

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you will probably be aware that Christopher Nolan‘s Oppenheimer was released on July 20 and people have been eating it up. But, some eagle-eyed fans have noticed a pretty massive historical error in the film.

Oppenheimer follows real life theoretical physicist and so-called “father on the atomic bomb” J. Robert Oppenheimer, played by Cillian Murphy in the film, as he and his team on the Manhattan Project race to create an atomic bomb and ultimately end World War II.

Some moviegoers have been pointing out a pretty major error in Nolan’s film though with attentive history buffs noting that the American flag seen waving during Oppenheimer’s victory speech in 1945 was not a flag that was used in the US until 1959.

Now if you’re not a US history buff, let me give you a quick rundown. From 1912 to 1959 the US had a 48-star flag because Hawaii and Alaska were not yet considered states.

Once Hawaii and Alaska had both been given statehood, the US flag was changed to the one we are familiar with today, the 50-star version.

But the flags seen waving in the Oppenheimer scene that was meant to be in 1945 at the end of World War II?

You guessed it the 50-star version — Nolan apparently made a pretty big oversight and included the 50-star flag 14 years before it had even been adopted in the United States.

Now any run-of-the-mill audience member (me) would have never picked up on this slip up (I’ve seen the movie and I didn’t) but some of the more well-versed history fans did make the connection.

I have to say, it does feel kind of huge that a movie that seemed to try to be very historically accurate in every other aspect would make an oversight like this.

As both an Australian and someone with an average at best grasp on US history I never would’ve picked this up but as a fan of movie mistakes I’m sure glad someone did.