The upside-down flag controversy at the opening ceremony

I didn’t notice it myself but the boy from Sichuan who accompanied Yao Ming at the opening ceremony, held a small Chinese flag that was upside down. An observant reader of this site noted:

“Why was the Chinese Flag carried by the Earthquake survivor upside down? Traditionally an upside down flag is a sign of protest, yet nobody appears to have notice this or made any effort to correct it!”

Black and White has further details:

It was a closely guarded secret that 9-year-old earthquake survivor Lin Hao would accompany Yao Ming in leading China’s Olympic delegation into the stadium at the opening ceremony. There were 32 children in Lin Hao’s primary school class in Yingxiu. Only ten of them survived. When Lin Hao escaped from the collapsed building, he carried an unconscious classmate out with him. He then went back and rescued a second child.

Xinhua sent out a photo of the boy and Yao Ming with the upside-down flag, and later sent out another message asking for people not to use it. Xinhua still used it though on its own website.

Posted by Mike 10 years ago

filed under: News

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Maxx - August 10, 2008 @ 10:01 pm

Seriously, I understand it’s your culture and your upset, but hes just a kid. I mean no disrespect, but you said yourself hes only like 10, and no one really noticed it. It’s all good =]

Lyn - August 10, 2008 @ 11:39 pm

Sounds like someone needs to read up on flag etiquette. Unless China has a different meaning for an upside down flag to the usual, an upside down flag is traditionally a distress signal, not a sign of protest.

It’s highly unlikely that anyone noticed the boy had the flag upside down, least of all himself. Let’s face it, an event as big as the Opening Ceremony is a busy and exciting time and I should imagine people were more concerned with not losing the young lad, than checking to see which way around he was holding the flag. If the flags carried by the flag bearers and the little flags carried by athletes weren’t already attached to poles, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see at least one of those come out upside down as well.

Sue - August 11, 2008 @ 12:29 am

The flag was obviously Made in China.

Stephen Sepulveda - August 11, 2008 @ 10:09 am

I am glad I am not the only one that noticed this. I cannot believe the media or any of the announcers has said anything. As a Former member of the military, this is a sign of “Great Distress” and if you think the little hero just happen to be handed a upside down flag to lead the Olympic athletes by accident you are very naive. The Chinese are extremely careful to make sure everything is perfect to the outside world. This was a message delivered by the only person who could pull it off and not be locked up or killed. It was absolutely perfect and I hope the rest of the word will wake up and realize what is going on over there. The fact that by now you see hardly no more pictures that have not had the flag and/or the boy cropped off shows how much control the Chinese government has even over the world media.

Joshua - August 11, 2008 @ 2:44 pm

Maxx: It’s not the kid anyone’s ridiculing or trying to read into here - it’s whoever gave him the upside-down flag to wave in front of a billion-plus TV viewers around the world. If that wasn’t part of the script, somehow I doubt that person will be very much longer for this world, if you know what I mean.

Lois J. Lee - August 11, 2008 @ 8:19 pm

I was shocked when I saw the flag and was even more shocked that it seemed the media did not notive it.

It is not about the little boy, it is about the flag he was given was upside down a message to world someone got out to us. Praise God for that person as your message was heard.

Lois J. Lee - August 11, 2008 @ 8:24 pm

Joshua, you make a very good point about the person handing him the flag. All I can say is his or her message was heard and he or she is an hero.

People it is not about the little boy.

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