Thursday, March 12, 2015

Old Glory and Racism

A group of college professors and students have signed a petition to remove the American Flag from their campus because it represents racism (Fox News).  As I read that first line on a news feed I was shocked at first, and then I read the article and I was angry.  We live in a country where people seem to have forgotten a lot about that American Flag, or Old Glory as some call her.

First off, I will admit the flag has been flown in some situations that are outright racist.  It was flown against Native Americans when our army slaughtered many of them for no reason other than to take their land, it was flown for many years over our country when we approved slavery, and it has been flown by some men and women at events meant to be racist in their very nature.  But, the choices of those individuals do not represent the whole of what this flag has represented and what it continues to represent.

1.  It represents a nation whose army marched into Little Rock, Arkansas to force segregation and protect school children trying attend public school.

2.  It represents a nation that wrote the Civil Rights laws and has upheld them since the 1960s in federal courts.

3.  It represents a nation where tax dollars are used for higher education (like that at the University of California) to pay for those regardless of ethnic backgrounds who can not afford to pay.

4.  It represents a nation that ripped across Europe against the Nazi powers to stop oppression and destruction of those viewed as not Aryan.

5.  It represents a nation that admitted the first African-American soldiers into the United States Army.

6.  It represents and flew for freedom after the historic proclamation freeing all slaves in America and then carried the blood of those supporters.

Yes, I was angry when I read the article, I was offended, and I was outright upset.  Take away the protections that the American Flag has stood for, and those same professors might find themselves without a job and perhaps without many of the freedoms they currently enjoy.  Yes, our flag has been misused, but a symbol of racism?  I dare think that if the men below were still alive today, those professors would not be nearly so bold:

Recruiting poster:

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