- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A California shopping center is facing fire after an employee flew an American flag upside down right alongside a Mexican flag outside their building.

The Calexico Price Center in Calexico issued a public apology Wednesday morning after a photo went viral online that showed the Mexican flag flying correctly and at the same height as an upside-down American flag — an image that many interpreted as a political statement rather than a legitimate distress signal.

But the store’s manager, Jose Tirado, told The Washington Times that his employee simply wasn’t paying attention when he flew the flags incorrectly and was visibly upset when he learned of his error.

“This has all been a huge mistake,” Mr. Tirado told The Times. “We have been flying flags here for more than 20 years, and this has never happened.”

In an online Facebook apology, the company said: “We fully support and honor the brave men and women who have served and died protecting this beautiful country of ours. We assure you that this error has been corrected.”

Still, Facebook users remained skeptical.

“I do not care if it was an accident that you flew it upside down,” wrote Kathy Mathews “This is AMERICA. Why in the hell is the Mexican flag being flown at all, much less at the same height or higher than the American flag. Get the hell out of here if you cannot show respect to this country.”

“See you had no problem properly hanging the Mexican flag,” wrote Mark Lupus. “Well, other than having it at same height as American flag. You guys are a disgrace!”

Stephanie Salas wrote: “[I don’t know] how you unintentionally do not notice a flag hanging upside down. Maybe that can be explained…”

And Sandi DeVito demanded: “the person who hung it needs to be fired…….yesterday.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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