Due to lack of funds, students must pledge to televised flag
By Associated Press, 9/15/2003
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Students at Central High School have been watching TV during the Pledge of Allegiance, but no one's complaining.
Unable to buy enough real flags for the new school year, Central High has taken to showing an image of the American flag on classroom TVs while students make the pledge.
A new state law requires school children to say the pledge at least once a week, and the school simply doesn't have enough flags for that.
The problem originated five years ago when the high school was repainted and many flag holders were taken down, Principal Mary Mackbee said.
"It's very expensive to outfit a school like this with flags and flag holders," she said.
Other schools throughout the St. Paul and Minneapolis districts, already burdened with budget cuts, are struggling to provide enough flags.
Many schools haven't said the pledge regularly for years. The St. Paul district's most recent estimate showed 1,300 classrooms without flags, another 970 without flag holders.