Skip to comments.Vetetans Protest Student Mural's Pairing U.S., Mexican Flags
Posted on 11/13/2001 9:23:12 AM PST by healey22
Monday, November 12, 2001 - Maria Chavez painted a mural on her high school wall last spring that was intended to promote unity - within families, at school, in communities and between nations. But that mural has recently sparked some disunity.
Chavez's mural depicting the Delta High School panther mascot between two flags - the Stars and Stripes and the banner of Mexico - has raised a protest from some veterans because the two flags are given equal representation. When facing the mural, they say, the American flag should be on the left rather than the right, and the American flag should be larger or somehow more prominent.
At least one vet doesn't believe the Mexican flag belongs there at all.
"My main gripe is some foreign flag taking the same prestigious position in a school as the American flag. A foreign flag doesn't belong in our schools in a permanent mural," said World War II veteran John Sukle.
Chavez, 18, said she never dreamed she would be creating controversy when she painted the flag on a hallway wall at the school for her senior art project. Chavez was a member of the League of United Latin American Citizens, a national organization with local chapters in schools, so she painted a mural that would represent the league's ideals.
"I never intended to do anything to make people offended. That's so not me," said Chavez, who now attends the Delta Montrose Voc-Tech School.
There was no offense taken until Sukle recently saw a photograph of the mural in a local newspaper and contacted the American Legion Post 65 in Delta.
Gordon O'Brien, commander of the post, met with school officials, Chavez and some other members of the league last week.
"We weren't upset. We just brought it to their attention," O'Brien said.
Chavez agreed to paint gold fringe on the American flag to make it look larger. School officials also decided to place a plaque in the front of the mural explaining the goals of the League of United Latin American Citizens and Chavez's motivation for painting the mural.
Chavez said she wanted to show understanding, cooperation and unity of two nations in a school where nearly 20 percent of the students are Hispanic. The plaque will say: "Working together as a family, school, community and as a country to make a difference in our youth."
That settled the matter as far as most people were concerned.
Not Sukle, though.
Sukle, 89, said he fought in four key World War II battles. He helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp. And he is not going to back down from defending the honor of his flag now.
"I intend to fight on. I don't mind yelling as loud as I can," Sukle said. "Too many people don't understand what our flag stands for."
School Superintendent Bill Carlquist said Friday that he understands that the flag means different things to different people.
He said the school's 30 or so members of the Latin League are very patriotic: They recite the Pledge of Allegiance before every meeting and handed out miniature flags in the school after Sept. 11. He said the group promotes leadership, community service and the importance of education.
Carlquist said he can also understand the veterans' deep-seated feelings about proper protocol for display of the flag.
Carlquist contacted school attorneys for advice and delved into the details of the U.S. flag code. They found that there are no rules specifically addressing flags in murals. The district, however, agreed to make changes that would satisfy the majority of the American Legion members.
No one, including Sukle, knows what his continuing protest will lead to.
Carlquist said right now he considers the entire matter a good learning experience for students.
"It's been a great civics lesson," he said.
If everyone goes around looking for offense rather than solutions, this country will have serious problems. Find the common ground and work from there. Obviously, this artist loves the American flag, but also loves her culture. I for one am glad that the club does recite the Pledge of Allegience at every meeting. Believe me, most do not.
No it's not. It's a crotchety old man with nothing better to do. The LULAC people clearly did not mean to offend or disrespect. They're going to make the US flag more prominent. They're researching proper usage. They're attempting to please the American Legion. What else do you want?
As for you, "proud patriot," there are plenty of good Americans who came from that "hellhole," who manage to take pride in it as they do in their adopted homeland. Mexico isn't the greatest country on the planet -- that's the United States -- but it deserves a great deal more respect than you're showing it.
Specially the ones who conquered so much land from mexico. Was the denver area part of the spoils of that war?
As do all the "crotchety old men" who've won our freedom for us.
Well I disagree. This is a United States tax payer funded school and I really don't recall the government of Mexico chipping in to fund our schools. In fact, we are educating a large population of illegal aliens from Mexico for free. Should we send the bill to Vincente Fox?
The good part is that it was done in innocence. Another good part is that there is intent to rectify and comply w/ proper flag etiquette.
Look, I served in the Armed Forces too. Veteran's status does not equal sainthood.
I'll give credit where credit is due. This guy is acting like, I repeat, a crotchety old man. Valiant service in World War Two doesn't affect that.
And what does that have to do with anything? Has it occurred to you that the display of another nation's flag does not equate to disloyalty to the United States? Especially when it's being made clear that the US flag is superior to and holds a place of honor above that other flag?
This is a pointless and utterly manufactured "controversy." Perhaps we should send a check, as per your suggestion, to pay for the German naval units that flew the American flag after 11 September. Or to the British army units that played "The Star-Spangled Banner." Absurd.
Oh, great ... next will come the black students wanting a mural to depict the African National Unity flag and then ... where does it end?
There shouldn't be anything depicted in taxpayer supported public schools except depictions of the American flag. Is that too much to ask? If they're so in love with a foreign culture, then they have no reason being here in the United States.
Not at all: it's a supplement to it. Is accusing me of a "failure of reasoning" some sort substitute [sic] for trying to refute mine?
I'll leave it to you to actually read the article, pick out Sukle's single relevant statement, and then return to the postings to see where I've addressed it on its own merits in full.
I breathlessly await your revelation as to what this has to do with the situation at hand.
I guess that, if only Red-Bloodied Americans are the only ones that are offended....then no one in authority really cares....
As I will similarly await reasons why I should "respect Mexico" in some general sense.
I'll give you four, sir.
1) My grandfather, who enlisted in the US Army Air Corps in World War 2.
2) My great-uncle, a US Navy Pearl Habor survivor.
3) Another great-uncle, who served on a destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1967.
4) My father, who served for 25 years in the United States Air Force and fought in the Gulf War.
Sons of Mexico and its culture all. And proud Americans, too. In between this, they built roads and buildings, raised families, and served their parishes.
That's a valid point. But given that the muralist, LULAC, and the school are all trying to please the American Legion (with the exception of this fellow Sukle, who doesn't want to be pleased) and render proper etiquette, it doesn't seem like there's much to be indignant about here.
Why doesn't he just admit a mistake was made and right the wrong? It's a shame this young lady had to suffer this embarrassment due to lack of leadership within her school. Every teacher who saw her working on this should have corrected her at the time. But noooooooo, not one d@^^n one of them cared enough about our flag to know, themselves, that she was making a mistake. What a bunch of $uck@ss government whores.
However, I asked why I should respect Mexico.
My family, and those relatives, are all products of a culture and way of life that is distinctly Mexican. Their nobility and selfless service was not an exclusively American creation. You should respect Mexico because it too produces people with strong feelings of patriotism, duty, and honor.
If many Mexicans today come to the US only to freeload and disparage the US, then frankly, I blame the leftist elements of American culture for that. I don't blame Mexico. My family is proof positive that traditional Mexican values are wholly compatible with staunch American citizenship; Mexicans have to come to the US to learn identity politics and racial divisiveness.
Until the recent past, Mexicans assimilated as Americans, and assimilated well. You should respect Mexico for that. When they stopped assimilating so well, it was because America changed, not Mexico.
Rendered in idiomatic English it should be:
"That's (like) so-o-o not me (okay?)!"
I respect anyone with sense enough to love my country. I do not have to respect Mexico any more than you have to respect the land of my ancestors. To suggest I should is silly.
I didn't say you have to. I said you should. If you choose to ignore virtue outside of your own back yard, then that's your business.
It does make you somewhat more shortsighted than the Mexicans -- and other immigrants -- who looked afield, saw virtue in America, and came here.
In many ways, it is the newest Angelenos who seem to be taking the tragic events [of 11 September] most personally. While the millions of Anglos who moved here in the post-war years from the East came to escape America--to the place that novelist Frank Fenton called "a city of refugees from America"--the more recent newcomers, largely from the South and West [Latin America and Asia], are running toward it. And many are feeling more fully American now than ever before. Two Spanish-language radio stations sponsored the single largest solidarity rally here....And there are more flags hanging from houses in the working-class barrios of the Eastside than there are in tony Brentwood. Nobody is talking about the ethnic balkanization of L.A. anymore.
As for the cranky old vet in the news story: his heart is in the right place, but he needs to switch to decaf and have a taco. Breaking some earnest high school kid on the wheel in the name of Tio Samuel isn't going to endear our native land to anybody.
Como México, no hay otro.
Now you're talkin'. ;-)
Waving a Mexican flag on US soil a show of unity? I don't think so. What kind of semantic bull is this.
Well, yes, but....oh, hell. Read the thread.
Tell me St Patrick day is for the Irish while they wave Irish flag, I will agree.
Talk about a show of unity while waving, say, Irish flags with Chinese flags in Ireland, and I am starting to ask questions. It could mean anything but that, and please, spare me your politicaly correct liberal bible bull, you sound like Bin Laden.
It was part of the Louisiana Purchase. President Thomas Jefferson bought it fair, square, and cheap from Napoleon, who was occupied with various problems in Europe and wanted to unload what he considered useless land.
I'm sure your point was a wise one, but I honestly don't know what your talking about. Can you elaborate?
And if the Mexican-hater charge is meant for me, stuff it.
If you knew history, you'd know that Nazi Germany waged its anschluss based on purported needs of unity. Germany was not for unity of course, but for forced unionisation with Nazi Germany. Still, usage of symbolism and hijacking of high words like unity served this very purpose.
Indeed, there is a vast difference between unity and unionisation. To me a Mexican flag with a US flag can be just that, unionisation, not unity. It could be unity if you asked me, all I am saying is that the vagueness of it is inherently controvertial.
You think Mexicans are happy about this effigy either? The "diversity" rainbow (another color obsession after all)? Go ask them, you'd be surprised. My inane comments would not compare to their hatred at such a sight.
In other words, I am not your target nor are you Robin Hood while you protect potemkin victims from potemkin "evil" suspicions. Go travel and learn about cultures. In other words, go get a grip on reality.
More than likely, her organization has enforced her beliefs, just as her parents have probably done through the belief that they should be able to fly the Mexican flag as though it were equal to the American flag in this country.
This type of logic is a farse, and it does injustice to the men who fought and died for this country and the many freedoms that it entails. These Vets are not crocky-old men, and they should be treated with respect. I cannot believe that there are some in this country who do not care about these men who gave all.
The painting of a Mexican flag in an American school should be treated as the outrage that it is. For one, this is America, not Mexico. Secondly, unless the school has a mascot known as the Padres, Tamales, etc., then there is no reason to display symbols of Mexico. Thirdly, if they are going to paint a Mexican flag, why not paint a Chinese flag, a Japanese flag, a German flag, a British flag, etc., for I'm sure that there are many recent immigrants from these countries that are now attending the school. I mean, we might as well be fair, right? You get the picture don't you? It makes no sense. Furthermore, all this multiculturalism only works to divide us. American kids, I'm sure, do not take kind to seeing the painting of a Mexican flag in their school cafeteria, which, I might add, is an American school. It's as if people use the fact that because a lot of Mexicans, many illegal, have immigrated to the area, that it somehow gives them a special privlege to display the Mexican flag as though it is somehow equivalent in the U.S. What about all those years that there were very few Mexicans in the school? Does their sudden migration into the area grant them special rights? Fourthly, the preceding sentence plays onto another reason why it is absurd to display the Mexican flag. The land never belonged to Mexico, nor had any influence, thus what's the purpose?
I respect the American Legion members for their stand, for they are doing the right thing. The Legion is a well-respected dignified, patriotic organization, and it too deserves respect. They're merely pointing out the flaws of a system of rampant "multiculturalism" that has invaded the public schools, particularly within the past five to seven years. Trust me, I see it all the time, for I often substitute in the public schools. It's very shocking how profound this mantra is drilled into the school textbooks, lesson plans, assemblies, charts and displays throughout the school. This is no different. I, for one, respect the men who fought for this country, and for the flag that they fought under. To equate the Mexican flag with Old Glory, in this country, in a taxpayer funded school, is completely inexcusable.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.