As I suspected, it turns out that the entire “Chinese flag at the White House” story was a major misinterpretation of what is actually a private protest unaffiliated with the United States Government:
The White House on Friday dismissed as inaccurate reports from China that the administration will mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic by flying the Chinese flag on the South Lawn.
A ceremony, indeed, will take place. But it won’t happen on the White House grounds — rather, on the Ellipse, on the other side of E Street from the presidential residence.
Demonstrations by foreign groups on the Ellipse or in Lafayette Park, in front of the White House, are not uncommon. But foreign flags are only flown on the White House grounds or on Pennsylvania Avenue to mark “state” or “official” visits of the countries’ leaders.
In fact, the China Daily report that started this whole controversy isn’t the first time that the Chinese media has given misinformation about something like this. It also happened when Chinese President Hu Jintao visited during the Bush Administration:
The current controversy is reminiscent of that visit. The Chinese insisted it was a state visit, despite U.S. assurances it was only an official one. The “state visit” label would have implied a bigger honor to Hu and to China, but Bush only had a handful of state visits and Hu’s wasn’t one of them.
Still, Chinese media continued to report it was a state visit even after it was over. And they continue now to report that the Fujian Association rally will take place on the White House lawn, even though U.S. officials insist it will not.
So, basically, a bunch of people fell victim to a Chinese disinformation campaign.
Of course, if they’d used their brains for a second, they would’ve realized the story didn’t add up.