Teachers Union Head Doesn’t Know What The Ukrainian Flag Looks Like

Multiple teacher union heads have been pictured holding Ukraine's flag upside down, drawing more criticism.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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As the crisis between Russia and Ukraine continues, people around the globe have shown support for Ukraine. In the United States, many corporations have shown support by severing ties with Russia. Similarly, blue and gold hues are seen everywhere as people show their support for the nation being attacked. Even educators are getting involved. However, a viral incident that recently took over Twitter has caused more outrage against teachers unions when multiple educators were pictured showing support for Ukraine while holding “The Borderlands” national flag upside down.

The Tweet has been taken down, but screenshots show what the pictures looked like.

The incident seemed to have begun this past Tuesday when the AFL-CIO Twitter account posted a picture of the Union executive council members holding posters of the Ukraine flag that read “Stand with Ukraine.” The caveat? Every single one of them was holding the posters upside down. To make matters worse, the AFL-CIO is the country’s largest labor union. 

According to Fox News, the Tweet was taken down and retweeted, but with some changes. Apparently, the teachers union photoshopped the Ukrain flag poster to properly display the flag correctly. Nevertheless, users called out the union for its poor efforts in photo altering. After that embarrassment, the union deleted the Tweet altogether.

Drawing more criticism, another similar incident involving educators drew attention on Twitter for the exact same mistake. The American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Executive Vice President Evelyn DeJesus tweeted a picture of the two teacher union members posing with Ukrain flag posters. And as you probably have already speculated, the flag was upside down as well. 

The first national flag of Ukraine was adopted in 1848 by revolutionaries who wanted its western parts to be freed from Austro-Hungarian rule. The Eastern-European county-based their flag, which consists of equal horizontal stripes of yellow over blue, on the colors of the coat of arms used by the city of Lviv.  A common notion to many is that the colors represent a blue sky above yellow wheat fields, as Ukraine is often considered Europe’s “breadbasket”. Another accepted belief to many is that the yellow represents sunflowers, which is the country’s national flower.

While its highly unlikely that the mass population of America would have even known what Ukraine’s flag looked like before the current war, the mistake draws criticism from skeptics for other reasons. Many are directing the gaffe as a means to further push against teachers unions in the United States. Teachers unions have been met with heavy objection from policymakers since the pandemic started. Teachers Unions have fought with governments in pushes to keep schools closed and masks mandated in classrooms. Similarly, teachers unions have fiercely fought against legislation dealing with critical race theory and what teachers can discuss inside classrooms. 

Corey DeAngelis, the national director of research at School Choice Now, called the tweet a free advertisement for school choice. 

The account Reopen California Schools, a volunteer group formed by Jonathan Zachreson tweeted an analogy comparing what the teachers union did to the flag as a comparison to what they believe teachers have done the past few years, “pretend” to care.

California State Senator Melissa Menendez also drew reference to school choice with the teacher union oversight. 

Even controversial Texas Senator Ted Cruz put in his two cents as he pointed out how bad the mistake looked as someone was responsible for mass printing the flags incorrectly as they were printed with text.

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