By now you may have heard the story of five students at a California High School who were punished and forced to turn t-shirts inside out because they depicted the American flag. Principal Nick Boden and Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez of Live Oaks High School in Santa Clara County admonished the boys for their displays of patriotism because it was May 5, or Cinco de Mayo in Mexico. The students were sent home, and their parents are now justly fighting the district over the school’s ill-concieved actions.
You would think this is an open shut case of liberal NEA dogma run amok and that most reasonable adults would see that any boy, girl, adult or student in the United States can display the flag of our nation any day of the year they so choose. But leftist film critic Roger Ebert thinks otherwise. Ebert tweeted on May 6:
Kids who wear American Flag t-shirts on 5 May should have to share a lunchroom table with those who wear a hammer and sickle on 4 July.
Really Roger? So is May 5 now anti-American flag day? Isn’t the great thing about America that we can celebrate more than one culture at a time, regardless of the day? Will wearing an American flag on St. Patrick’s Day offend the Irish, or during Oktoberfest offend Germans? And isn’t it a bit condescending to assume that Mexican-Americans don’t also revere the flag of their adopted nation? During the 1980’s when Ebert was popular, the hammer and sickle represented tyranny and oppression. Comparing five young students wearing the red, white and blue to a murderous communist regime might be a little over the top.
Remarkably, Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Peubla is hardly celebrated in Mexico itself. It is voluntarily observed in America as a celebration of Mexican-American heritage. To all who celebrated it, we hope you had a great time. And to the students of Live Oaks High School – Flag Day is June 14.