Michigan school district calls 'Betsy Ross' flag a 'symbol of hate'

The superintendent of a Michigan school district has apologized for allowing the display of what is erroneously referred to as "America's first flag" because it is a "symbol of exclusion and hate."

Forest Hills School District school superintendent Dan Behm apologized for the "incident," which occurred during a high shool football game between a predominantly white school and a predominantly black school.

Washington Post:

Some Forest Hills students were parading around not only with the first flag but with a Trump banner, in addition to chanting “Go green” and “Go white,” which are the school colors.

The combination offended, among others, Matthew Patulski, a white parent of two students enrolled in Grand Rapids public schools — the Trump banner because Donald Trump is “a candidate known for his tacit support of racist ideologies,” as Patulski wrote in an open letter on his Facebook page, and the “Betsy Ross flag” because it’s “a piece of history co-opted by white supremacists who see it as a symbol of a time in our nation’s history when slavery was legal.”

Admittedly, I am not up to speed on what is fashionable among white supremecists.  But this is the first I've heard of what is commonly referred to as the "Betsy Ross flag" being adopted by the racists.  If they did, they're almost as dumb as the school authorities.

The army that fought under that flag was integrated freedmen and freed slaves made up about one quarter of the Continental Army, according to some sources.  Others put the number at about 9,000 blacks fighting for the Continentals, state militias, and in the American navy.

The army was not integrated again until after World War II, but many black regiments fought during the Civil War and the Spanish American War. 

The patriots accepted just about anyone who wanted to fight for them.  How this translates into "exclusion and hate" is a mystery.

I strongly suspect that the Trump sign had far more to do with this "apology" than the flag.

At first, Forest Hills’s Behm told MLive that the Forest Hills students were participating in a “red, white and blue” theme night. “The theme for each game changes, but students have generally had the ‘red, white and blue’ theme each year around the Sept. 11 anniversary,” MLive reported.

By Tuesday, however, Behm was apologizing in an open letter:

Injecting partisan politics into a community football game and into a commemoration of the events of September 11th is inappropriate. Parading our current United States flag in a manner that is inconsistent with proper etiquette is disrespectful to all who have served our nation. And, to wave a historical version of our flag, that to some symbolizes exclusion and hate, injects hostility and confusion to an event where no one intended to do so. To our gracious hosts — the students, families, staff, and community of Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills High School and Grand Rapids Public Schools — and to the student-athletes, coaches, officials, and supporters of both teams, we are truly sorry.

Nobody, he said, is being punished for the incident.

Punished for what?  Celebrating school colors of green and (gasp!) white?  Parading a flag under which a generation of soldiers fought?  There are some in the community who believe that if the sign had been for Clinton, Mr. Behm wouldn't be talking about "partisan politics" at a football game.

By the time the politically correct army of activists is done, there will be no sign, no symbol of America allowed to be displayed. 

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