A Hoover flag referred to an empty pocket being turned inside out so that it was visible. It represented the desperate economic conditions that were prevalent during President Herbert Hoover's administration.
The Great Depression began in 1929. Many citizens felt that the government should take action to provide relief to the newly poor masses. Many people blamed President Hoover for the lack of government assistance. The resulting criticism manifested itself in many ways. Empty pockets were called "Hoover flags," while newspapers that many homeless used for warmth were called "Hoover blankets." Hoover lost in the subsequent 1932 election to President Franklin Roosevelt.