December 05th, 2023
L&T Opinions Page

earl wattL&T Publisher Earl Watt


When I reviewed some of the lesson plans of the new CKLA system the local school district has implemented, there were lessons about historic flags. One was the flag designed by Betsy Ross and the other was a flag designed by Gilbert Baker. Ross sewed together the first Stars and Stripes in 1776, creating the flag of the United States of America, and Baker created the rainbow flag in 1978 to represent the gay community. Why these two flags are placed on even footing as far as CKLA is concerned is a subject for another day. What is at hand is what does each flag represent, and who.

One of the above-mentioned flags represents everyone. The other does not.

Last week, the Suno Glen School Unified School District Board of Trustees in California voted that the only flags that can be displayed on school grounds are the American flag and the California state flag.

No other flags were permitted.

Instantly, the LGBTQ community accused the district of homophobia and discrimination.

Just a few short weeks ago, a student in Colorado was sent home for having the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag sewed to his backpack. The district reversed the decision by school administration.

In these two cases, racism and bigotry floated to the top of the conversation and intention.

The vice principal in Colorado told the family that the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, also known as the Gadsden flag, was a symbol of racism.

Why this is misguided, ignorant and historically inaccurate, why did the vice principal believe this to be the case?

The answer is simple. The far left who have hijacked the Democratic Party told her it was racist because the Gadsden flag represented colonial America.

First, colonialism has in itself become an act of racism to the far left despite the fact that every race and creed on this continent was at one time or another a colonist. All human beings in North and South America can trace their roots to Asia, Europe, Africa and elsewhere. Those called Native Americans today crossed the Bering Strait while chasing the herds, and later, Europeans used boats to reach the unknown land.

The Gadsden flag to these anti-colonial left wingers is a reminder of the colonists in 1776 who were already on the continent for almost 200 years. 

But somehow, even with European settlements more than 500 years old on this continent, the far left believes we are all still part of the colonization period and have wronged other settlers who came earlier. This flag, in their view, is a symbol of oppression to them. 

To everyone else, it is what it says it is. “Don’t Tread on Me” was a warning to anyone trying to suppress the Americans that they will strike back. 

That same phrase can and has been used by multiple groups over centuries to represent the call to freedom and independence. It does not signify racism or bigotry in any way.

The rainbow flag was designed to be a symbol for gays and lesbians. The flag would later be called the gay pride flag and flown by those who wanted to take a stand on their sexual freedom.

Schools looking to appear to be tolerant of such students began displaying the gay pride flag.

But not everyone is gay, and the concept of allowing the flag ahs started to be questioned by students wanting to share other views.

For example, a student in Massachusetts wore a shirt that said, “There are only two genders,” a very sound scientific position. But he was told the shirt violated school policy as it attacked a protected class of gay students. That case is currently making its way through the courts.

There is a flag that represents both gay pride and those who believe there are only two genders. That’s the flag of the United States of America.

The gays community has just as much right to be gay in America as someone who is straight. The American flag represents that individual liberty. It also represents deep political divisions, form the near totalitarian socialist left to the near anarchist right. Whether some believe in more or less government, the Stars and Stripes represents them.

Whether black, white or anything in between, the Stars and Stripes represents them.

The Star Spangled Banner is not about a color or any one specific group. It represents us all. Those who are attacking the flag are attacking the very freedoms they are claiming not to have.

Gay pride, straight pride, or any other personal preference movement becomes a separatist movement when the government acknowledges a banner.

Those who want a rainbow flag flying at schools would be the first to riot if the same school allowed a Trump banner to be shown in a classroom.

That’s why this school did the right thing and only allowed the single symbol that represents everyone to be displayed, and that is the Stars and Stripes.