Myth Blaster: Montebello High School Flag Incident

I just got through publishing my annual article about Thanksgiving Day, an American (and Canadian) tradition, and received the following email from a reader (received via chain email) …

Where is the Principal?
You will not see this heart-stopping photo on the front page of the NY Times or on the lead story of the major news networks. The protestors put up the Mexican flag over the American flag flying upside down at
Montebello High School in California.

[Photo from

I predict this stunt will be the nail in the coffin of any guest-worker/amnesty plan on the table in Washington. The image of the American flag subsumed to another and turned upside down on American soil is already spreading on Internet forums and via e-mail. Pass this along to every American citizen in your address books and to every representative in the state and federal government. If you choose to remain uninvolved, do not be amazed when you no longer have a nation to call your own nor anything you have worked for left since it will be ‘redistributed’ to the activists while you are so peacefully staying out of the ‘fray’. Check history, it is full of nations/empires that disappeared when its citizens no longer held their core of beliefs and values. One person CAN make a difference. One plus one plus one plus one plus one … The battle for our secure borders and immigration laws that actually mean something, however, hasn’t even begun. …

Myth Blaster Verdict: TRUE. This email may come in various forms and wording; however the incident really happened. But it happened in 2006.
According to Snopes:

The above-displayed image of a Mexican national flag flown over an upside-down U.S. flag was taken on 27 march 2006 at Montebello High School (MHS) in California during a student protest over immigration reform. According to news reports, the flag incident was prompted and implemented not by MHS students, but by a large group of students from neighboring schools …
The MHS web site now carries a notice on its opening page advising visitors that:
“We have received many phone calls and E-mails about the reports that Montebello High School students put up a Mexican flag and took down the American flag this past Monday.
MONTEBELLO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS DID NOT TAKE PART. Students from the El Rancho High School District and the Whittier Union High School District took part in this action. Our Administration, Staff, and students do not condone this action. We hope this clarifies the situation.”
… The student responsible for hoisting the flags in the manner captured in the photograph was reportedly disciplined, although news accounts did not identify him by name or specify what punishment he may have received …

The above Snopes article was updated on April 5th 2007.
Urban Legends at
Busted by Michelle Malkin