March 30, 2006, 12:45PM Opinions split over red, white and green Mexican flags divisive topic as principal shows his support for student protests By JENNIFER RADCLIFFE Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle Reagan High School Principal Robert Pambello was ordered to remove a Mexican flag Wednesday morning that he had hoisted below the U.S. and Texas flags that typically fly in front of his school â a symbol he agreed to fly to show support for his predominantly Hispanic student body. At nearby Hamilton Middle School, a child was asked to wipe off Mexican and U.S. flags painted on his face. Hundreds of other students carried Mexican flags during walkouts Wednesday â acts of protest that they vow to continue until Congress rejects legislation that would further restrict immigration. "There's no other way to be heard ... It's not the best way or the right way, but it's our way," Reagan freshman Jose Lopez, 14, said of the effort. The Mexican flag has become a lightning rod in the immigration debate that's consumed the city and the nation this week. Students say the flag represents their pride in the contributions Mexicans make to this country. Critics, though, said watching young Hispanics in the streets with the red, green and white flags is more than they can stand. These youngsters are in the United States and should â at the least â carry the U.S. flag, they argue. "The whole thing just makes my blood boil," said Bruce R. Wing, a 52-year-old Missouri City resident. "I want them all out of here." Wing said the Houston Independent School District should fire Pambello. HISD leaders said no decision has been made about possible discipline against the principal, who declined interview requests Wednesday. "It is appropriate to fly the flags of the United States and Texas over schools in the Houston Independent School District, since we are a public entity of the state," HISD spokesman Terry Abbott said. "It would not be appropriate for the school district to advocate allegiance to a country other than the United States. Therefore, it is not appropriate to permit use of school district flagpoles for the purpose of flying flags representing other countries." Raul Ramos, a professor of Texas history at the University of Houston, said most Mexican-Americans see no contradiction in flying the Mexican flag alongside those of Texas and the United States. "Most students at Reagan High School have relatives or ancestors from Mexico," said Ramos. "The flag represents Mexican heritage as much if not more than citizenship."