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You Lost, Get Over It

This is an editorial I wrote for our school newspaper. Someone told me to put it on here, even though we live more in the Vancouver area.
People as a whole, have many different ideals, morals, and ways of life. When those factors get in the way of receiving an education, than there is definitely a problem. The question is; where do we draw the line?
The confederate flag goes all the way back to the Civil War. The confederate south used the southern cross as their battle flag during the war. Ever since then, some southern states have flown the confederate flag or state flags similar to it right next to the American flag.
In the 1950's and 1960's the southern states raised these flags as a defiant stand against integration. Denmark Groover, the Georgia House floor leader in 1956 suggested that the state legislature incorporate the southern cross into it's own state flag. At that time, many of Georgia's political assets were outspoken segregationists who admittedly were against the federal integration orders. In 2001, forty-five years later, Groover now wants the southern cross to be removed from Georgia's state flag.
It has become apparent that confederate flags have been flying from vehicles, sewn on to jackets, and worn on hats at Prairie. I wanted to find out what the flag was doing all the way up here in the northwest.
David Jones, a senior at Prairie flies the confederate flag as an ode to his family history. His dad gave him the confederate flag in the first place, since he is from the south, and he thinks it shouldn't offend anyone since "It's just a [freaking] state flag." Even though the administration told him to take his flag down a couple weeks into school, Jones still flies it on his truck. He doesn't consider himself to be racist because he said, "The [African-American people] fought for that [freaking] flag."
John Omeara, a junior also at Prairie agrees with Jones. Within the first month of the school year, Omeara was reprimanded by the administration for flying the confederate flag on his truck. Ironically he got his flag from Jones. Omeara doesn't feel there is anything wrong with the confederate flag. He likes the colors of it and thinks it represents his personality. He even has a confederate flag cell phone cover. Omeara said, "I did it to see what [the administration's] reaction would be." He said that he got in trouble because our principal, Greg Parcher feels it is a racist flag.
Some argue that it is their right under the 1st amendment to fly the confederate flag as part of their freedom of speech. However, when students attend a public school they have to realize that their rights may be compromised due to school rules, and if they don't like it then they should transfer somewhere else.
In Prairie's student handbook it clearly says, "Any materials or actions that either intentionally or unintentionally degrade, insult, or malign another person based on his/her race, color, national origin, religion, disability, or gender will not be tolerated." The confederate flag fits under that description perfectly. It is well known that the Ku Klux Klan and over five hundred extremist groups use the southern cross as one of their symbols, therefore it is banned from our school.
Richard Jones, the senior counselor at Prairie (not to be confused with the previous Jones) said in reference to the confederate flag, that, "It's a negative part of our history." Jones also said that a degrading symbol like the southern cross violates the school's policy. To Jones, it would make a good debate about the freedom of speech, but he said that when it comes to symbols of oppression someone has to intervene. Also, Jones said, "Most prejudice comes from ignorance," in regard to supporters of the confederacy.
Last year Jones started the diversity club at Prairie. Although there weren't a lot of students involved in it, they accomplished a lot. Martin Luther King Jr. is Jones' personal mentor because of his courage to speak out about racism without being scared, knowing that he'd probably die for his beliefs. With the help of Jones, the diversity club held the Martin Luther King Jr. assembly last year, and he thought it was well received. They're also planning on having an MLK assembly this year. However, Jones feels that one assembly a year isn't enough. He believes that the subject should be addressed every day, because educating people is more effective than pushing them down.
Phil Neff, a senior at Prairie and amnesty international member believes that the confederate flag is extremely distasteful. He said that in a public school you can't be using the flag, because it is seen as a form of harassment. Neff said, "I think, as a symbol, the confederate flag has too strong of a connection with the idea of racism to be an acceptable symbol of a state or to define a person."
The fact is that it's not socially acceptable to don the confederate flag in Prairie's school setting, let alone showing it in public. Even if it has some sort of tie in with a person's heritage, there is no reason it should be in the northwest. It's hypocritical to support something that stands for southern pride when we are in Washington state. Hopefully, our nation's citizens will open their eyes and realize that the confederate flag and/or racism will not be tolerated in the United States any longer.
ban everything 10.Feb.2003 20:11

dude

idol worship is bad. Or should we have a iconoclastic schism?

Symbol always suck when they are used to rally for mass murder. Off course all flags are guilty of this.

So why discriminate? How do you think the native american
may think of the US Flag.

The Flag 10.Feb.2003 22:01

bored...

As any Historian can tell, what's become known as the confederate flag (stars and bars) was a battle flag, adopted by the confederacy in the last year of the war. The Bonnie Blue was the standard for the confederacy and the flag that most fought and died under.

I have seen the Bonnie Blue flag flying in the yards of people in the south. I'm sure most people have no idea what it is or represents, they are too concerned over the "stars and bars" which just shows how dumb some people are..

Personally, I lump the south in with American Indians, the French, the Iraqis, etc..

Conquered peoples bore me..
The Flag
The Flag

mixed feelings 10.Feb.2003 22:26

mixed feeler

there is something important to be said about who writes the history books. It seems to me that the civil war had to do more with decentralization of power and the desire to be confederated rather than unionized than it did with slavery. and perhaps for having grown up in a state that was on the mason-dixie line I have more connections with the confederate flag to southern pride than I do to the KKK.
the north rewrote that war to be about freeing the slaves in order to paint themselves in a more positive color.

just like we blew the fuck out of afghanistan to free the women there.
just like we're going to blow the fuck out of Iraq to remove a dictator.

I will never allow people to burn crosses
but I'm not sure I would carry that to the confederate flag.
And above and beyond that, the american flag has had more attrocities to people of all colors performed under it than the confederate.

Food for thought 11.Feb.2003 03:36

FIX THE PLUNGER

Recently I read a book on the tax rebelions through out history and America. They talked into detail about our Civil war, and the exessive trade tarrifs the North had. Also the Norths ability to tax the South unfarily, the South did have a right to rebel and they did, they decided to have a terrif free haven for trading countries this of course was not accetable for the North.

Basically, the North used the issue of freeing slaves as an excuse for war. You could go into a debate now about other means of freeing the slaves, if the North cared so much about the slaves, how many decades did it take till black American families were able to vote? And so many other freedom establishing rights. Can not even get into the plight slave families endured. Did we just forget about them, or was the war really about something else?

So that leads to my conclusion that the Civil war wasn't for the moral obligation of freeing slaves, the thought was nice and we have made efforts of reducing inequalities, but it is a constant struggle.

Speaking of constant struggles, there are similarities between what the North did to acheive their goal of wiping out the Confederate movement, and the propaganda that our current government uses. Before the North decided to use the slavery issue, they said the war would be quick and effortless. How many times have you heard that statement for any war? Especially in Vietnam, and our current situation.

Our military has instituted their, "Shock and Awe." Shock and Awe was written in 1997 by military think tanks. It looks at the history of wars and takes a little of this and a little of that from the best instances of battles and applies them to a current task. For example, there is Sun Tzu's attack of disarming or atleast knowing your enemies defense as best as possible. (U.N inspections, and now letting the U.S fly U2 surveilence planes over Iraq to look for weapons)

You also have the Nazi's "Blitz Kreig." Hitler was renowned for his propaganda and Poland, as well as the rest of Europe was scared to no end of just the term Blitz Kreig, kind of like Shock and Awe will strike fear into countries into thinking twice about going against an American agenda.

Also, before the slave issue was used the North was failing in support of the people, and wanted to suppres letting people know that a government can actually function without heavy terrifs and taxation. Now imagine if information caught on that the Northern government was a further departure from our constitution, and that the Confederates believed more in equal taxation. Kind of like how our government is making a case that we need to bring democracy to the people of Iraq and down play the fact of their oil, and how our corporations could easily pump out more oil. Is this being said much right now in news or is it being hidden because of our war time propaganda?

What we hear is normal war time propaganda, through out history it has been the samethings switched around here and there, and the powers that be like. to hide the truth from the public. You just have to dig a little deeper in order to find a proper conclusion that once was

When I read the above paper I was drawn to write my feelings on history of what I have seen so far and all the mis information that exist and the information that is lost. Now my point on the flag is that the orginal Confederates weren't racist, they lived in a world that used slaves. It was definately due time to abolish slavery.
They were more of an oppresed people that were tired of not being represented as well as they would have liked and were doing something about it, like we did in the American Revolution.

The only thing worse than not knowing all the history and both sides of the Civil war, is how the KKK and other racist organizations have decided to take the Confederate flag as their own. I do get that feeling in my stomach when I see that flag and you just can not help but think of it as being used as hate.

That only benefits our current rule of government. What do you think of when you hear the word "Socialism?" Do you get up in arms and say, "Go back to Russia you Commie." Some Democrats have Socialist views, they are not Communist, it is just another way that keeps the very thought of another form of government from ever taking place.

Well now that you know a little more of history and how it can repeat itself. Will you atleast think next time you see the Confederate flag and of what it once was supposed to stand for and what it means to some?

Freedom of Speach 11.Feb.2003 08:26

7 come 11

Freedom of speach is being able to wipe your ass with any flag you want.

The School Handbook quote, "Any materials or actions that either intentionally or unintentionally degrade, insult, or malign another person based on his/her race, color, national origin, religion, disability, or gender will not be tolerated."

If the truth be known this 'rule' would remove most of the textbooks in any american school. The symbols of the past block vision for the future.