It’s a Banned Ol’ Flag

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The Flag of the United States. The Stars and Stripes. The emblem of the land we love. It’s adornment, apparel, even automotive appliqué. As the avatar of American liberty, it’s deservedly revered. As the embodiment of American eminence, it’s unfortunately reviled.

While most of our hearts bleed true for the Red, White and Blue, some of the more puerile pinheads on the Left consider Ol’ Glory a punch line. They sully it, stomp on it, even set it on fire; all the while wrapping themselves in the very protections it epitomizes.

Last week the flag took on a new role for one 13-year-old in Denair, Calif.: Scarlet Letter. Cody Alicea is a student at Denair Middle School. Cody proudly displayed the flag on his bicycle in homage to his grandfather’s service in the military. Then, three days before Veterans Day, Stanislaus County, Calif. School District officials put an abrupt stop to Cody’s patriotic expressions. They demanded he remove the flag from his bike.

Allegedly, the flag was drawing complaints from some of Cody’s peers and fellow teachers’ union victims. According to Superintendent Edward Parraz, the mere sight of Cody’s flag-festooned five-speed was racially inflammatory.

"Our Hispanic, you know, kids will, you know, bring their Mexican flags and they’ll display it, and then of course the kids would do the American flag situation, and it does cause kind of a racial tension which we don’t really want… We want them to appreciate the cultures."

So, the Mexican kids are displaying the flag of an entirely different country (for now, anyway); and the Stanislaus County School Superintendent is concerned about their sensitivities should someone display the flag of the country in which they’re living? It’s been said before, but it bears repetition: If it’s the dumbest thing you’ve heard all week:

  1. Liberals—especially teachers’ unions—are involved.
  2. It’s happening in California.

Parraz went on to describe “racial tensions,” citing some unfortunate incidents during a Cinco de Mayo celebration. So, the English-as-a-second-language crowd objected to the American flag, months after a chaotic observance of… a Wednesday. (Mexican Independence Day is actually Sept. 16. In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is… May 5.) We’re supposed to appreciate Mexican culture? Which Mexican culture—the culture of Mexico, or the culture of Mexican restaurants?

Either way, Cody should thank Parraz. I’m sure he’d be mortified to learn his shamelessly jingoistic flag-waving was upsetting Paco and Jorge while they celebrated the wrong holiday.

School officials did squeak out a weak claim that their primary concern was to keep Cody safe. From whom: Paco? Jorge? Presidente de México Calderón? If the Stars and Stripes incites violence, shouldn’t the Stanislaus School System have cracked down on the potential offenders, or at least taken away their case of Dos Equis?

By the end of last week, popular outcry had cowed the school into relenting on their bicycle flag-ban. But it’s worth noting that they even thought to bar Cody from displaying the flag in the first place. For every liberal whose idiotic action gets publicly pounded, how many go unnoticed? And considering we’re talking about an Orwellian overstepping of authority with our children, how many kids will simply assume their schools are right?

While the bizarre flap over Cody’s flag deftly demonstrates how the Stanislaus County Public Schools have successfully fostered racial hostilities based on elementary misconceptions about not one culture, but two, it also demonstrates just how far down the rabbit hole we’ve come thanks to our liberal friends. A 13-year-old kid was denied the right to fly an American flag three days before Veterans Day in order to assuage the delicate sensibilities of… other 13-year-olds.

The Democrats’ desperate bid to make room in their tent for people who speak English with a tilde has pushed out the people who speak English at home. The racial divisions deliberately exploited by the Democrats have left American children on the other side of the proverbial border. Cody Alicea just wanted to honor his veteran grandfather. But school administrators were concerned such honor would bring dishonor to them — I’ll presume in the eyes of Presidente Calderón.

The Barack Obama Administration says supporters of meaningful immigration reform are racist. Democrats claim that opposition to amnesty is racist. Presidente Calderón says the same thing. I say: when Democrat-backed teachers’ unions start going after our children — and our flag — racism is the issue, but it’s Americans — in the person of Cody Alicea — who are the real victims.

Meanwhile, out in front of Denair Middle School in Stanislaus County, Calif., there stands a flagpole…

Flying the American flag.

Personal Liberty

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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