While I realize we’re past the mid-point of May now, this is an issue that is unlikely to go away anytime soon. I view my timing as 355 days early for next year. I try my best to keep the entries as timely as I can. Sometimes I do better than others.
A recent post to the Gateway Pundit blog at firstthings.com details the story of a San Francisco area high-school student, Daniel Galli, and four of his friends, who were kicked out of school for the day for wearing US flag shirts and bandanas on May 5th, observed by many expatriates as Cinco de Mayo, the day the Mexican army beat the French army at the Battle of Puebla. It’s not even strictly a Mexican holiday in Puebla, more along the lines of St. Patrick’s Day.
From the article:
Galli says he and his friends were sitting at a table during brunch break when the vice principal asked two of the boys to remove American flag bandannas that they wearing on their heads and for the others to turn their American flag T-shirts inside out. When they refused, the boys were ordered to go to the principal’s office.
If there had been credible, overt threats of violence towards Daniel’s group, I can see an offer to allow that group to take an excused absence for the remainder of the day in the interest of minimizing disruption. While I can understand the disapproval from the population at large, this would at least be a nominally defensible move from the school administration.
But it appears the vice principal stepped in where no such threats existed. All because these boys (and girls?) chose to express their patriotism for the USA on this particular day. (The story does not mention gender of Daniel’s friends; I did not want to assume they were all boys.)
This likely was handled in a fashion typical for high-school dress code infractions (an unexcused absence, with a grade of zero for all work missed). This is inexcusable in the United States of America for an expression of American freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Those who find the American flag that offensive, on a day which is not even a national holiday in a neighboring country, should carefully rethink their reason for staying in the US, taking into account such things as whether or not they are here legally.
As for me, I’m proud to be an American, no matter whether the calendar reads September 11th, February 2nd, July 4th… or May 5th, or any other day. Really, it’s just another day. The American flag should be no more offensive or “incendiary” on one day than any other day, to someone who really loves this country. Not only is the school administration out of bounds, but they completely missed the opportunity to teach a lesson in tolerance and community.