Mexican Flag Incident at Montebello High School
Viral images show Hispanic students demonstrating against proposed immigration legislation by hoisting a Mexican flag above an upside-down U.S. flag at Montebello High School in southern California.
Description: Viral images / Text
Circulating since: March 2006
Status: Images are authentic, taken in 2006 (see details below)
Email contributed by K. Best, April 20, 2006:
This is one e-mail that you would hope wasn't true, but the pictures seem to tell it all. Very sad!!!
American flag v. Mexican flag at CA. high school--disgusting public acts!
FLAGS FLYING AT MONTEBELLO HIGH SCHOOL SAYS IT ALL.... THE USA IS IN DISTRESS AND MEXICO HAS TAKEN OVER!
THE AMERICAN FLAG COMES SECOND!
If you want to stay here, America comes first, last ,and always otherwise go back and make it better where ever you came from but don't try to turn my country into yours by ILLEGALLY entering mine and then demanding all the benefits of a LEGAL citizen of our nation ..... NO funding from federal tax dollars for any student out of class that day or any other day for such subversive activities.......teacher led or not.
Analysis: Though they date back several years (to 2006), the photos above are authentic. All but one of them were taken by Whittier Daily News photographers Leo Jarzomb and Raul Roa on March 27, 2006 (the originals can be viewed in slideshows here and here).
The accompanying text is a mash-up of material from the original newspaper captions, commentary by a conservative blogger named Michelle Malkin, and the random contributions of one or more anonymous emailers over time.
The occasion was a protest involving approximately 1,000 Hispanic students who walked out of their classes in the El Rancho Unified and Whittier Union High School Districts and marched through the town of Pico Rivera to nearby Montebello High School, where they demonstrated against proposed federal legislation calling for harsher measures against illegal immigration. As these photos and others taken that day show, Mexican flags were common currency at the event. The standard waving got out of hand, however, when a small group of protesters hoisted the flag of Mexico up the school flagpole with the Stars and Stripes underneath it, upside-down.
District administrators say that despite appearances, few if any Montebello High School students participated in the demonstration. The campus was "on lockdown" for the duration of the protest, which means Montebello students were kept in their classrooms until the gathering dispersed.
A student from El Rancho High School was reportedly disciplined in connection with the flag-raising incident.
Sources and further reading:
The American Flag Comes Second
Michelle Malkin, 29 March 2006
Students from More than 20 Schools Continue Protests
KNBC-TV News, 28 March 2006
Teen Punished for U.S. Flag Flip
WorldNetDaily, 1 April 2006
High School Officials Clarify Misrepresentation of Montebello High School
School district press release, 29 March 2006
Principal Won't Lose Job Over Flag-Flipping
Whittier Daily News, 7 April 2006
Mexican Flag a Lightning Bolt During Protests
Associated Press, 9 April 2006
Last updated: 04/29/10