My Uncle Mark Stewart stood outside Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, California this morning holding an American flag in support of students who were ordered by school administrators in 2010 to turn shirts inside out that were adorned by the flag on May 5, 2010.
The citizens silent patriotic salute on this May 5, four years later, was triggered by a February, Ninth Circuit Court decision that sided with the school in forcing students to make the American flag disappear on Cinco de Mayo–coincidentally a day that is not even a holiday in Mexico.
The rationale for the ruling–concern over violence by recent Mexican immigrants over the display of the Stars and Stripes.
Here is the real question.
What the heck is going on in Morgan Hill, California?
The threat to American flag wearing students was deemed so severe that a federal court ruled that the First Amendment rights of those students were outweighed by public safety concerns.
The melting pot that has made our nation great depends upon a basic acceptance of allegiance to the American system of government.
We saw that in World War II, when second generation Japanese-Americans fought and died side by side with other Americans to defeat fascism. They did so even in the face of a national distrust of the loyalties of their parents that led to internment camps during the War.
Ultimately, being an American is a privilege. Those who have the good fortune of being born here to U.S. citizens are blessed with living in the best country in the world. In America, individual rights are endowed by our Creator, not bestowed by government, and our flag has flown as a symbol of liberty, leading men and women who have fought and died for the freedom of others around the world.
When the flag that stands for freedom in nation’s throughout the world is not welcomed in a U.S. public school because of competing nationalism, it is not those who stand up for the United States who are wrong.
The very fact this is not true at a high school in Morgan Hill, California among other places in our country, tells us much more about the state of our nation, than any 30 second ad from a tech billionaire looking to squeeze out cheaper labor costs ever could.
It seems that the only problem with the tee shirts those kids tried to wear is that the American flag should have been sewn upside down, to truly reflect the distress which our Republic finds itself.
The author is vice president of Americans for Limited Government. The thoughts presented are his own.