I am sure some of you have heard about the recent Richland High School kids who took a picture of one student stomping on a flag, while another gives the middle finger. I think this has garnered national attention. Obviously it is big news around here. Richland HS is where Lindsey went to school. She assures me they never taught any kind of anti-American classes there or anything.
I figured since it is in the news, this is something I should weigh in on. First of all, I am a big supporter of the First Amendment and doing stuff to a flag does fall under Free Speech. Is it in poor taste? Absolutely. However, kids do dumb shit and they hopefully learn from it.
When I was in third grade I did something stupid. I did not really know at the time what I did, but I still did it. We used to go to our elementary library once a week and our librarian, Ms. Martz would teach us about the library and usually have some fun project for us. Anyways, this one day she has us making paper airplanes. She tells us to decorate them and then we will have a contest to see whose flies the furthest.
I drew this symbol on mine:
Yep, I drew a swastika. Did I have any clue what it was? Not really. I probably saw it on a movie of WWII. Ms. Martz freaked out though. She yelled “do you know what that symbol means? Do you understand the atrocities that were committed by people using it?” She then made me sit the rest of the class and read a book about the Nazis. I did not get to participate in the contest, but I did learn something. Kudos to her.
Ms. Martz found the appropriate punishment for me. She took the opportunity for me to learn a little about history. She did not call my parents. The principal was not brought in to suspend me. I was not expelled. In fact, the next week, she did not even mention it. She just assumed I learned my lesson.
That brings me back to these Richland HS kids. If you were to head on over to the WJAC Facebook page and find this article, then read the comments, what do you suppose would be the most suggested punishment? Suspension? Expulsion? Nope, send them to Syria. I shit you not! Okay, that is probably not the most common (but definitely up there). The most common is probably to make them volunteer at the VA (not a terrible idea). They should be punished for messing with school property (if the flag belongs to the school and was not a flag they brought in themselves).
Yes, that seems to be a good idea. Teach these damn kids about how they are lucky to have rights by then taking away those rights and deporting them. Makes total sense.
Just look at some of these comments. Tracy thinks they should get 500 hours of community service and be forced to wear signs or hats to let everyone know what evil they have done! I also love Angela’s response. Post their names everywhere. Ruin their lives so they can never get a job. I am guessing Angela never made any mistakes when she was a youngster.
Everything I would like to say about this whole thing can best be summed up by my friend Matt, who tried to make a rational argument on Facebook.Matt is absolutely right. Soldiers fought and died to defend our freedoms, which the flag is a symbol of to an extent. Awhile back there was a similar thing happening and a friend (who was in the military) said something about being angry at the people for disrespecting the flag and one of his military friends responded with “like it or not, that is their right, and that is what we fought for.” (I may be paraphrasing a bit)
Sadly, was Matt’s thought out response met with tons of positive comments (he does have ten likes!)? Nope…
Tracey immediately goes with “have you ever fought to defend anything?” I would ask her the same question. Maybe she has, I do not know her. Okay, just looking at her Facebook profile, she does not list any military service (and she lists her education and every job she had). It just seems weird to toss that in someone’s face while also not having served. Good for Matt getting that little punctuation jab in there.
I hope this is my final discussion about flags for awhile…