A predominantly white Michigan high school is now proclaiming the American “Betsy Ross” flag to be a “racist” symbol of hate and has “apologized” after a few teens waved the flag at a recent football game with a nearby high school that has a predominantly black team.
A small handful of teens toting a Trump campaign banner and a U.S. flag in the thirteen-star “Betsy Ross” configuration were seen at a recent game between Forest Hills Central High School and the predominantly African-American Ottawa Hills High School, the Blaze reported.
But it wasn’t long before the superintendent of Forest Hills schools, Dan Behm, felt it necessary to “apologize” for the teens waving this historic, Revolutionary War era flag with the superintendent claiming the flag is “racist.”
Injecting partisan politics into a community football game and into a commemoration of the events of September 11 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.
Behm wasn’t alone. Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal also felt the need to apologize saying, “I cannot deny the hurt, disrespect and outrage that I and so many others in this community felt about these actions that took place in our backyard, in our home at Houseman Field.”
“This type of behavior should not and will not be tolerated in our stadium or schools — nor should it in any across our state and nation,” Neal concluded.
The Betsy Ross flag was first used in the 1700s and was originally rumored to have been designed and sewn by Betsy Ross, though later historians came to doubt this story. It contains thirteen stars and thirteen stripes to denote the original thirteen colonies and is one of America’s earliest national symbols but it has little history of being connected to racism or white supremacist groups.
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