As quoted (in the italics) in an article at http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/02/27/not-safe-to-display-american-flag-in-american-high-school
by Eugene Volokh February 27, an American citizen can get in trouble for displaying our flag symbol: Today’s Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School Dist. (9th Cir. Feb. 27, 2014) upholds a California high school’s decision to forbid students from wearing American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. (See here and here for more on this case.)…
On Cinco de Mayo in 2009, a year before the events relevant to this appeal, there was an altercation on campus between a group of predominantly Caucasian students and a group of Mexican students. The groups exchanged profanities and threats. Some students hung a makeshift American flag on one of the trees on campus, and as they did, the group of Caucasian students began clapping and chanting “USA.” A group of Mexican students had been walking around with the Mexican flag, and in response to the white students’ flag-raising, one Mexican student shouted “f*** them white boys, f*** them white boys.” When Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez told the student to stop using profane language, the student said, “But Rodriguez, they are racist. They are being racist. F*** them white boys. Let’s f*** them up.” Rodriguez removed the student from the area….
At least one party to this appeal, student M.D., wore American flag clothing to school on Cinco de Mayo 2009. M.D. was approached by a male student who, in the words of the district court, “shoved a Mexican flag at him and said something in Spanish expressing anger at [M.D.’s] clothing.”
If you follow the links, you will get more facts and a long list of comments from people re it. The article above does not contain the whole story, only the drama, as most newspaper articles do. It provoked strong feelings in readers.
I am sorting and packing my 84 year old sister’s possessions for storage, and I have found a pamphlet titled “Our National Flag, How to display and Respect It,” put out by the United Chemical Company of Minneapolis 14, Minnesota in 1957. (I don’t know what the 14 stands for). It contains a long detailed list of how to display and use our flag. This is what led to some research on how our flag is displayed today, and to discovering the above article.
In country school, we took turns putting the flag up and taking it down each day. We learned to not let it touch the ground, and to fold it just right. The word “freedom” is associated with our flag.
In the ’80’s I went to a workshop led by a second generation immigrant. The man’s mother grew up in Russia. As a teen, she saw her older sister beheaded by the Bolsheviks while she hid in a hayloft. She bit through her tongue to keep from crying out. As an adult immigrant to America, she “got down on the ground and kissed the dirt when she got off the boat,” he said. And I bet if someone would have handed her the American flag, she’d have kissed that too.
In my opinion, each person should respect their flag, and each person respect another person’s flag, especially in the country it represents. And as usual, this newspaper story leaves me with still more questions. What a balancing act for a journalist to present not only the drama to hook a reader, but present enough facts to give a true picture of events.