Thursday, October 4, 2007

Rally 'round the flag

On September 16, 2004 some students at Larkin High School in Elgin Illinois flew a Mexican flag from the school’s main flagpole. Six months later the principal of the school, Richard Webb, didn’t have much information about who did what. It seems obvious that no one was disciplined as a result of the incident.

Webb said, “There’s no truth to rumors the (American?) flag was burned, stamped or tossed in the garbage. We’re not even sure anyone in the school was involved in that.”

Pardon me, Mr. Webb, but it seems to me that the school ought to be very sure about things like that. If not, the tension might escalate.

And escalate it did. On April 6, 2005 a student responded to a persuasive essay assignment with these words: “Is it just me or does yelling Mexico Rules and walking down the hall parading the Mexican flag seem just a bit disrespectful towards America and the people who died trying to protect it?…If it was up to me, they would be expelled, beaten, wrapped in their flag, set on fire and tossed over the border.”

The school held a meeting with parents to assure them that the administration was repulsed by the essay. Due to student privacy, disciplinary action, was not open to comment. True to form, Mr. Webb did not know how copies of the essay came to be distributed around the school. (Just what DO you know, Mr. Webb?)

Perhaps the most disturbing comment came from a fellow student after the April incident. The Daily Herald reported: “Larkin Sophomore Luz Torres said she stands for the Pledge of Allegiance and respects the American flag. But it’d be nice, she said, to see a Mexican flag flying, too. ‘We know we’re in America,’ the Elgin teen said. ‘But they should have a flag of each country to show respect for all countries.’”

Along came Mexican Independence Day 2005. Larkin High School decides to have an assembly to honor the event. (Doh! Mr. Webb) A young man in the senior class did not stand for the Mexican national anthem. And he was sent to the office for it! The boy was going to enlist in the military upon graduation and did not want to swear allegiance to any other country.

I met his grandfather a year later and, true to his word, the young man did enlist.

I’m not surprised at the response from educators. They are multicultural to the core. The NEA officially endorses illegal aliens, so what else can you say?

I suppose this wound opened up again for me when I read about the patriot in Reno who rescued the American Flag from its disgraceful position below the Mexican flag in front of a bar. That event was followed by the opinion of the ACLU that it really isn’t illegal to fly Old Glory below the Mexican flag; it is more of an etiquette issue.

Then I reviewed a photo gallery of flag-waving illegals who gathered to protest the deportation of 56 aliens caught working in Reno. The Red, White, and Blue was prominent in most of the 20 photographs.

What are they protesting? And what does our flag mean to them? Is it supposed to inoculate them against prosecution for identity theft and unlawful presence? Is it supposed to remind us that we should be compassionate? Is it somehow supposed to convey their loyalty?

It conveys none of these messages to me. When I see such images it only reminds me of their hypocrisy.

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