Middle School Orders Boy to Remove American Flag From Bicycle

A reader sent me this from WeaselZippers… what a name for a site!  o{]:¬)

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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30 Responses to Middle School Orders Boy to Remove American Flag From Bicycle

  1. MrD says:

    If it were a Mexican flag, he’d have been cheered on by the administration…

  2. gloriainexcelsis says:

    So – I suppose the school does not fly an American flag, either, for fear of offending someone? When students complain about the flag, how do you suppose their thinking became so skewed? At home? At school? Both? What is happening in this country is not only maddening, it’s tragic – and dangerous.

  3. Racial tension? Over an American flag?

    Does the school fly an American flag?

  4. John 6:54 says:

    Yeah “racial” tension? Did the school take their flag down? If the flag is causing racial tension, what “race” is complaining? Should we be sending our kids to a school wear the Old Glory is causing racial tensions? This is in the USA right? Whats next do I need to wear a birka because my bohemian white skin causes racial tension for some nut jobs? Do my blue jeans cause racial tension because they are too American? This is absolutely madning. There has to be more to the story.

  5. lucy says:

    Unconscionable. I also want to know if the school flies the American flag. This sort of thing should not be allowed to occur.

  6. Tantum Ergo says:

    How dare this little snip flaunt the American flag in public? Doesn’t he know that the only socially correct (liberal) display involves its burning?

  7. Supertradmum says:

    I do not understand what race has to do with being an American.

  8. TJerome says:

    If it were a Gay Pride flag, the administration would have given him an award for his “sensitivity and awareness.” This action should cost someone in administration their job.

  9. irishgirl says:

    I couldn’t access the video-yet I shake my head in disbelief.
    Good God, what are coming to? I think the public school system in this country is insane! Or at least the ‘administrators’ are….!

  10. The Egyptian says:

    WeaselZippers… what a name for a site! o{]:¬)

    Kind of catchy name if you ask me, read it several times a day, as their tag line says
    “scouring the bowels of the internet”

    ;>)))

  11. Geoffrey says:

    I’d prefer to fly the Papal Flag any day!

  12. robtbrown says:

    If his parents had a sense of humor, they would replace the American flag with the Stars and Bars, the Confederate Flag.

  13. Lirioroja says:

    The racial tensions come from the fact that this particular school district is about 40% Hispanic (read: Mexican) and there were problems this past Cinco de Mayo. It appears there were some threats made against the boy so to avoid another incident he was asked to not fly the flag on school grounds. However this story appeared on Drudge Report and due to the national outcry the school has allowed the boy to fly the flag on school grounds again. The school superintendent also stated that they will be dealing with those who made the threats.

    http://www.fox40.com/news/headlines/ktxl-school-officials-respond-to-fl-111210,0,2143331.story

  14. torch621 says:

    Oh dear, looks like we need to call the waaaaahmbulance for some folks at school

  15. traditionalorganist says:

    I have become against public education. Our taxes go towards the salaries of idiots who would enforce something like this. The “good ol’ days” were the days when Catholic donations went to useful causes, like education from the parish school.

  16. Fr. Basil says:

    \\If his parents had a sense of humor, they would replace the American flag with the Stars and Bars, the Confederate Flag\\

    Actually, the Stars and Bars was retired as it looked too much like the Union Flag.

    You’re obviously thinking of the Confederate Battle Flag, which was NEVER the Stars and Bars. The Confederate Naval Jack, which is more usually seen, is rectangular like most flags, and not square like the battle flag.

    As far as “racial tension,” since when was either American or Mexican a race?

  17. Norah says:

    I am not a citizen of the United States but I find this action, a boy with the flag of his country on his bike, puzzling. How can anyone possibly object to someone displaying the flag of his/her country? Here in Australia many regard Americans as too patriotic; there goes another steriotype.

  18. Supertradmum says:

    The superintendent in a Fox interview kept harping on Cody’s safety. What is the matter with the school administration that Hispanics can call the shots and interfere with someone’s safety? The problem is not the boy or even his bullies, but the admin which can’t deal with these problems. And, contrary to popular belief, there is no race called Hispanic. Hispanics are a European/Native mix, and some are proud to be called “indigenous”. The school has rescinded on the original rule, and Cody can fly the flag. I am totally fed up with “political correctness” and educators who are not proud to be Americans.

  19. Geoffrey says:

    “As far as “racial tension,” since when was either American or Mexican a race?”

    Indeed!

  20. DetJohn says:

    The school is in Turlock, Ca

    We now have a flag banning to go with rerun Jerry Brown as Governor along with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom as Lt/Gov.

    They are all San Francisco influenced.

    3 more reasons to want to leave California

  21. Scott says:

    I have been teaching in public school for fifteen years and I have noticed that when a story like this appears we are usually not getting the entire story. First of all, you have to understand the area: Turlock, California is not “California”. It’s Central Valley, California. Farming country. They grow almonds (pronounced with an “a” as in jam). It’s a conservative, religious farming community in a lot of ways. And, a large latino migrant farming community. The teachers/administration at the local school would have to be very silly indeed to have a student remove a flag from his bike unless there was a GOOD REASON. Second, the student in the video SEEMS like a nice young man who just wants to “honor his grandfather for his service”. Nevertheless, in fifteen years of working with middle schoolers in public schools as a patriotic and religious person my suspicion is that the boy was probably being rude or disrespectful to Latino students at school and THAT is why he was told to remove the flag. Think about it…thirteen year old BOY? Rarely is there a meaner creature in the world…except thirteen year old girls:) I see it all the time in the community where I live. It is sad that a story like this will probably not be completed because the school district will likely not be able to comment on it. And notice the family doesn’t want any trouble either. They have backed down easily. We are not getting the whole story.

    On another note. Has ANYONE recently read flag rules and regulations? Since September 11th (I detest calling it “9/11″ as if it were some sort of brand name) I have seen so much disrespect for the flag all across this country. Wearing it as costume jewelry???!!! Putting it on t-shirts? The flag is to be considered a living thing. Treated with respect. Not used as a weapon in a culture war.

  22. jflare says:

    Scott,
    Frankly, I’m finding your comments on this almost as..goofy..as the request for him to remove the flag. You say, “the boy was probably being rude or disrespectful to Latino students at school”?!
    How on EARTH can a kid be disrespectful toward anybody, Latino or otherwise, by flying a flag of his own country..while inside his own country?! Do we have the First Amendment right to freedom of expression or not?
    On the whole, this reminds me very much of various incidents I’ve heard about in which someone doesn’t wish to allow someone else to fly an American flag, sing an anthem, or acknowledge the US in some other way..even though both physically reside in the US!
    Keep in mind, the family isn’t precisely backing off, as you suggest. They aren’t filing suit, but they ARE planning to meet with the school’s officials. They’re giving everybody a chance to work it out in a civil manner. That’s fine.
    I wonder though, if the “disrespect” toward Hispanics really amounts to anything? I’ve heard Hispanics howl “racism” or “bigotry” simply because most of us dislike being forced to speak Spanish. Perhaps those who fell “disrespect” need lessons in geography and history?

    From where I sit, if the school doesn’t have a DARN good reason for this, the family probably SHOULD file suit. It’s entirely plausible to me that the Hispanic community doesn’t wish to be reminded that we aren’t all Hispanic.

    PS. I’ve seen mean creatures in the world at all ages: Often, they’re the ones who preach the most loudly about “diversity”, but grow incredibly cranky when that word can’t be used as a bullwhip to badger the majority of people. Minorities have a way of being VERY fussy when they don’t get their way over everyone.

  23. I can see that some of you are taking this a patriotism thing and that isn’t wrong but I for one, even though I am an American citizen, would never fly the American flag.

    Certainly no one should stop a boy who loves his country from flying the flag of his country while in his country; however many Americans feel perfectly fine with attacking Pope Benedict XVI for being in the army of his country even though it was not his choice. I would be the first to say that the school owes the boy an apology, not only for this but also for the fact of forcing him to go to a public, government controlled school in the first place. That said, the bigger issue is when will America collectively apologize to Pope Benedict for all the foul mouthed words they have had for him.

    Besides that let us look at what the American flag stands for. The red and white stripes represent servitude and obedience to the British crown above obedience to Christ. The fifty stars represent fifty so called states. It is interesting that they would be called states since they do not function as defacto states and are not dejure states. So their very name is a lie. If these really were “states” then what we are seeing is the complete subjugation of these states. Some would argue that the subjugation of the states is necessary since before they were subjugated there was slavery, Jim Crow and all manner of evil afoot. However, the federal government is certainly no innocent and in no position to lecture anyone since it was the federal government responsible for the Trail of Tears, The War with Mexico, and the almost complete genocide of the American Indians in the United States.

    It is funny how Americans wail and moan over the deaths of six million Jews (not that they shouldn’t ) but don’t even raise an eyebrow to the 12 million Indians who died under Jackson’s (the first Democrat president) heel.

    And now Obama wants to finish what Jackson stated by removing whatever health care benefits the Indians have and forcing them to buy Obamacare. He has all but put a gun to their heads to force every pregnant Indian woman to have an abortion.

    America is the bad guy. I will never fly its flag. I thing anyone who does fly its flag is either ignorant, misguided, or evil. I mean honestly, how much love can you really have for a country that produced the KKK. America is anti-family, anti-Indian, anti-African, and most of all Anti-Christian. I hold little hope for its redemption. The best I can hope for is that America really will completely collapse and a good, better country would be born out of its ashes but then maybe I am giving the rest of the American population too much credit. They will never pull that off.

    If I were to ever fly a flag, it would be a Papal Flag. His is the only temporal authority I recognize on this earth for certainly his is the only just authority. Let us not forget the difference between Auctoritas (true authority) and mere potestas (power). The U.S. may have some Power but they lack true authority to use that power. I see no country on the Earth today that is loyal to Christ, our one true King, and so out of Loyalty to Christ, I do not submit to anyone’s authority who is not loyal to Christ. Of all the countries on the Earth, not a one but the Vatican has a government obedient to Christ. Most in fact (including the U.S.) have laws designed to force citizens to disobey Christ. How can a Catholic even thing of flying an American flag as long as the U.S. has laws so counter to Christ and even the common good. We have secular judges overruling the Church and granting divorces to Catholic couples (as if they even have the postestas to do that).

    “You will know them by their fruit”. Even the Catholic Church in the United States is fallen in with this. Just compare their liturgy with that of Nigeria. A poor African country overrun with Muslims and Shiria Law can get things right that the Catholics in the Richest Country is all of History, the land of religious Freedom just can’t. Give me a break.

    Leaving the United States was one of the best decisions of my life. I am a much better Catholic because of it.

  24. Scott says:

    jflare,

    I am not saying that by flying the American flag the boy was taunting fellow classmates, I am saying that he was probably verbally taunting them while on his bike. Using words. I’m not sure how the whole bike with a flag on it works into the situation but I maybe he’s yelling at them while riding by every day. Kids do that. They are meaner than adults in that way because they are adults in training. Sometimes they take what they hear at home, “those people should go back home to their country” and bring it back to school with them in an unvarnished attack. They have not learned to keep their meaner comments to themselves.

    As far as reminding you of incidents where others are not allowed to sing the anthem or fly the flag or stuff like that, sometimes they are throwing a nutty (the man from San Fran who tried to have “under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance for example), but I think for the most part we’re usually getting sold a lame story from a media far more interested in selling newspapers or getting eyeballs to watch their shows than real information. Most of the stories like that which are shocking because you can’t imagine people acting like that? You’re right! They weren’t acting like that. You’re only getting the part of the story from the one who thinks they were wronged.
    For instance, the man sueing about the pledge is likely far more worried about hurting his Christian ex-wife since they got a divorce than really trying to get rid of the words. He’s using the suit to hurt people. What he’s also doing is embarassing his daughter who was caught in the middle of that disaster. Some people need to take a huge cup of act-right and call it a day.

    That is what I’m saying. I coach sports and have a player who had to be kicked off the team this week. He was by far our best player. But he kept getting into trouble. From throwing the ball at boys heads during games to harassment of boys and girls at school to disrespect toward teachers at school. When confronted about each incident. He denied it. Happened again? denied it. I and many others saw each incident happen. He denied it. And his parents? If you could call them that. Supported him in every case. Said things like “we’re trying to make him into a super competitor” You can’t just buy this story from the kid who is “just riding his bike around with his flag on the back of his bike.” It just doesn’t add up. You take a kid riding around with a flag on his bike in a conservative, religious. flag waving farming community like Turlock (which it is) and a school district that is attacked for trying to maintain community standards for decency of all kinds (watch what girls and boys try to wear to school or what comes out of their mouths) and it doesn’t add up. We are not hearing the whole story.

  25. jflare says:

    quomodocumque, Scott,
    Gents, as I read your comments, I struggle to keep from exploding with rage. At best, your comments strike me as being motivated primarily by suspicion, prejudice, and intellectual dishonesty. Can kids be nasty to each other? Yes they can. Can a nation be far less just and moral than we could wish? Yes. Does this justify condemning a boy or a nation for being less than perfect? NO!!
    I’ve long been thoroughly disgusted by the willingness people have to trash the US or some of her citizens for this or that act, but when challenged regarding their own virtue….they don’t seem to have much to say. Far too many accusations against America stem from one group or another who can’t admit that we aren’t morally obligated to be exactly like them. Apparently, diversity is a virtue ONLY when it’s used to trash Americans or white people.
    Gents, isn’t it interesting that the TV station didn’t do more research into this story before airing it? Why? Are the protecting the boy from exposure as a bigot? Or are they protecting Latinos from that charge? If this happened in Southern California, I think the latter AS LIKELY as the former.

    By the way, I learned the meaning of the American flag VERY differently:
    13 stripes, for the original 13 colonies
    7 stripes of red, for men who gave their lives for freedom
    6 stripes of white, for the purity of a nation’s intentions
    50 stars…, one for each State of the Union (of the United States
    …on a field of blue, for the unity of the nation (remember e pluribus unum)

    If you wish to think the worst of this kid or this nation, go right ahead. Seems to be quite acceptable these days. Just remember, whole hordes of us aren’t buying it.

  26. Scott says:

    I found something for us to agree on, I too believe the TV station did not do good research on the story. You’re right!

    But do you think it makes sense for us to ignore the terrible things that were done in this country? I AM proud of some of our history (George Washington giving up power when the people were begging him to take it; the Declaration of Independence; the US Constitution; the Bill of Rights; the Lewis and Clark Expedition; Civil War; the 19th Amendment; winning WWI, WWII; the Marshall Plan; NOT blowing the world up during the Cuban missle crisis; the Civil Rights/Voting Rights Act; surviving Nixon but not falling apart as a country; winning the Cold War and too many others to mention).

    But then there is the other list: passing a law in the Continental Congress preventing African-Americans from fighting in the Revolution (we just had that “anniversary” a few days ago); the systematic mistreatment of Catholics including laws to prevent their worship or practice their faith publicly; the grilling of Kennedy by the media for fear that he would be a puppet of the Pope; Oregon, with the help of its teacher’s union and of all things the KKK, to pass a law that made Catholic schools illegal in 1920. Washington state to the north passed a resolution condemning that one. My own Daughters-of-the-American-Revolution-member grandmother would turn in her grave to know that I married an Irish Catholic girl. I am proud to be an American but I will not be blind to our past.

  27. jflare says:

    Scott,
    I do not ask anyone to be blind to the past. Rather, I insist that we acknowledge ALL of the past from EVERYONE. I have zero tolerance for blasting this nation or it’s people for it’s various sins, then insisting that we turn a blind eye to all the errors that one’s own people have committed.

    By the way, that means that if another people will attempt to hold us accountable to some crime, I will insist that we be allowed to hold that other people accountable to various crimes by the exact same standards. Or perhaps more accurately, our standards had better be every bit as critical as their. If not, we aren’t truly seeking reconciliation; we’re merely having an argument regarding who can chastise whom and for what reason.
    That’s political correctness to the hilt.

  28. Fr Matthew says:

    Quomodocumque, the American flag is not about submission to the British crown… Sure, it has colors like the British flag, but the design dates from AFTER the American Revolution! And yes, Americans and leaders of the American government have done terrible things – so have people of pretty much every nation on earth, and so have bishops, priests, and some of our worst popes! But Americans have also done may good things. There are American-born saints. Ordinary Americans regularly donate cumulatively huge sums to victims of disasters around the world (and although it may sometimes be channeled inappropriately by some aid organizations, that’s not necessarily the donor’s fault).
    Yes, there are problems in the country today, but we have also overcome many problems. America is not the bad guy. A nation as a whole cannot be a bad guy. Iran is not “the bad guy”, even though there are some pretty bad guys running Iran. China is not “the bad guy” either. Most Americans think we have had “bad guy” presidents. America is not the current or past American government; presidents and parties, policies and departments come and go, and the nation continues. Do the “bad guys” count for more than the “good guys?”
    Sorry if this comment is a little disjointed, but I don’t have time to be more systematic… I think your comment is unfair and somewhat inaccurate, and I’m sorry you cannot find it in your heart to see and take pride in the many good things about our country, despite it’s many obvious defects and failings. It’s like having pride in your family; every family has it’s saints and sinners.
    In fact, you’ve inspired me to dig out the American flag I have in a drawer somewhere and hang it visibly in my office. I’ll let you decide if I’m “ignorant, misguided, or evil.”

  29. Scott says:

    jflare,

    I agree that we should all be held to a high standard; I don’t think I ever said the opposite. I do however think that people should not go off half-cocked about a story that so obviously doesn’t include all of the facts. Shame on the local news outlet for not including all the perspectives or not being more critical of a story that smells from a distance.

  30. As I said before, I would never condemn the boy for flying the flag of his country but I can not just be mindless and suck up the America worship that so often goes around in America.

    Did I miss something or is America not an anti-Catholic protestant country?

    Are the red and white stripes not the sign of submission to the British Crown? That is what they intended it to mean when the British made the colonies fly a flag with red and white stripes before the revolution.

    And even if the flag did not mean that, we must realize that love of country in America is competing for loyalty with love of Christ. We must then ask the question, why is the boy flying an American flag on his bike and not a Crucifix? How could a priest of Jesus Christ, the High King of the Universe, even think to dare to replace Christ on his Cross of Glory and put up the flag of a nation of murderers?

    I do not feel that love for Christ and love for country can ever be put on the same level. Love of Christ must always be supreme. We must all be ready to give up our loyalty, indeed even our citizenship, if our country forces us to choose between it and Christ. I will never choose a country over Christ. And that is the choice that America offers to us right now, that England offered to us in the time of St. Thomas Moore. We must all have the courage to choose Christ over America, indeed if we really love Christ, we should not even need to think about such a choice. A true believer will never even consider choosing America.

    I must say I am rather disturbed by the intense love for America in place of Christ that I am seeing her at at CATHOLIC website. I would expect that from protestants and atheist but this is a CATHOLIC website.

    And when is America, either government or people in general, going to apologize to the Church for its abuse of the Church? When will it admit and apologize for the genocide of the American Indian? You know what, forget that. When will America apologize to ME and my family for what it has done to it. As a good Catholic and I stand ready to forgive if I thought for a second that America had repented from the way of satan. When will America apologize for allowing Democrat thugs to put a gun next to my great-aunt’s head when she went to vote for the first time to force her to vote Democrat? When will it apologize for denying my father an education because of his skin color? When will it apologize to my great-grandparents for not allowing them to marry because they were not the same race? You’re all telling me that in a country where it was illegal for two people to get married purely based on skin color but it is now legal for two men to get married you still think it is not the bad guy! Now sure the Church educated my father even though he was not Catholic and the Church married my grand-parents which then just tells us that America the government had not business being involved in those areas of life to begin with. When will America apologize for that?

    When will America apologize to ME for attempting to prevent my conversion to Catholicism? When will it apologize to me for destroying my father’s mind by forcing him to kill as a soldier and then imprisoning him afterwards instead of honoring him? When will apologize to me for putting me in a protestant foster home?

    Or, you know what, forget that. I can already see that you all care nothing for what America did to my family. It’s my problem not yours right! Fine!

    When will America apologize for Abortion? See I don’t even need to mention the Trail of Tears or Slavery or Jim Crow. When will America repent the killing of MILLIONS of children?

    When you think of Nazi Germany, don’t you think that the people of Germany needed to apologize for what they allowed their government to do? Of course you do and the Germans did. Now how about America? Don’t the people of America need to apologize for what they have allowed and are now currently allowing the government to do? But you would rather throw insults at the pope for being drafted into the Nazi army than ever admit that the white stripes on the flag did not actually make America pure.

    America is broken and evil. It is the bad guy, we only adopted the good guy role by accident when we defeated Hitler and found out that he was just a little more evil that we were. I imagine that had we known that Hitler was committing genocide America might have taken his side. Why else did we allow the communist to murder 2 million people in Vietnam?

    Again, no one should give this boy a hard time for flying the flag of his country, and I pray that he will grow up and work to make America better not worse but what we really should be asking is how can we send him a Crucifix so that he can learn about the true country that he should have loyalty to.

    And this is not a Black/White thing. I don’t even know why you would bring that up. Wrong is Wrong is Wrong no matter who does it. I don’t know why so many people think that Catholicism is only for White people. I just don’t get that. King of the Universe kind of means King of all Nations does it not? Yes I have a beef with the American Government, Way of Life, and People in general in so much as they support the evil actions of the Government. I also have a beef with the Democrat party in that it has been the enemy of the Church, my people, and my family since its creation. But I am Catholic above and before anything else. My family gave me a choice between them or the Church and I choose the Church. America is now, and has always been giving me the same choice and I choose the Church. If I lived in Mexico I would probably be calling for the government to apologize for its past anti-clericalism but then again they already did that so it really isn’t that much of an issue. How about America follow their lead.