5 December 2023

Misleading: This video of Hong Kong kindergarteners conducting Chinese flag-raising ceremony was filmed years ago

According to a media interview with the kindergarten principal, the video was produced in 2015. Annie Lab can confirm the same video was uploaded on YouTube in as early as 2017.

On July 9 a Twitter user quote-tweeted a video that shows kindergarten pupils holding a flag-raising ceremony. The post said, “CCP brainwashing has started. Hong Kong’s future is in danger” (CCP is an acronym for the Chinese Communist Party).

At the time of writing, the post has gained more than 660 likes and almost 430 retweets. The video was originally posted by another Twitter user on July 8 with more than 2,500 likes and 1,800 retweets.

The video identifies the school as “St. Monica’s Anglo-Chinese Kindergarten”(聖文嘉中英文幼稚園) and calls the pupils as “flag-raising team” (升旗隊) in Chinese. Pupils’ faces are blurred in order to protect their privacy.

Many users, such as this university professor from Spain, seem to have believed the video was filmed recently but it was actually shot in 2015, according to a media interview with the principal of the kindergarten in 2019.

A news article by Apple Daily published on Oct. 10, 2019, quoted Ada Mak Tse How-ling, the kindergarten principal and also a member of the pro-government political party Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, as saying that the video was made in 2015 for educational purposes and was not meant to be made public.

The archived version of the news article by Apple Daily was found in the WiseSearch database.

The report was written when the video in question went viral in 2019, the year the National Anthem Bill was introduced to the Legislative Council for the First and Second Reading.

The same video uploaded to YouTube on Nov. 10, 2017, could have been the source of the misleading posts then.

Screenshot of a tweet posted in 2019 with the same video. The tweet has over 2,000 likes and retweets.

Mak was also interviewed in an episode of Hong Kong Connection, a current affairs program by Radio Television Hong Kong premiered on July 27, 2020.

In the episode titled “Patriotism and Education,” Mak said the St. Monica’s Anglo-Chinese Kindergarten formed the flag-raising team in 2013 and trained the upper pupils to be part of it.

The school name was also shown in Hong Kong Connection (2:31).

The same flag-raising video taken from the internet has also been used in Hong Kong Connection (4:18)

Annie Lab also found news reports about the same kindergarten holding a similar flag-raising ceremony in December 2015 when the People’s Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison visited the school (also here).

In fact, it is not uncommon for schools in Hong Kong to conduct flag-raising ceremonies. Kindergartens, primary and secondary schools have been doing this for a long time as seen in this 2008 video, for example.

In May the government introduced the curriculum framework of National Security Education, a year after the passage of the National Security Law in 2020.