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Letter: A 'dying' document

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  • Wonder Provo, UT
    March 8, 2014 12:03 a.m.

    Wearing the flag as a pair of pants or something actually seems a bit disrespectful to me. I wouldn't do it.

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    March 8, 2014 12:22 a.m.

    Maybe Mr. Smith should check out the U.S. Flag code, which states that it is disrespectful to the flag to wearing it as, or on, clothing unless it is part of a uniform.

    Just because a court issues a ruling you don't like, doesn't mean the Constitution is dead or dying.. That just happens to be a part of the Constitutional process.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 8, 2014 12:25 a.m.

    Courts have long ruled that students in school do not have the same rights of free speech and expression as adults do. Schools can require girls to wear bras. Certain items of clothing that are associated with gangs can be banned. School district can, in fact, require that every student in the school dress in the exact same clothes, school uniforms in other words.

    I do not know anything about this particular case, so I'm not going to comment on it, but that caveat should be kept in mind.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2014 1:45 a.m.

    A quote by Theodore Roosevelt, one that is quite relevant to the present issue:

    "In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American... There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

    Theodore Roosevelt 1907

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    March 8, 2014 5:19 a.m.

    I don't care much for the decision, but courts have always placed limits on the First Amendment rights of kids in school. The court didn't exactly break new legal ground here, and the comparison between burning the flag and wearing the flag as forms of speech doesn't hold up for school children. I suspect courts can find ample room to uphold school policies banning both.

  • River Dog Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2014 5:19 a.m.

    I have lived in a foreign country on and off for ten years. The only foregin flag I've seen flying in that country are at embassies. The citizens of that foreign country proudly wear their country's falg on shirts, blouses and hats. We Americans have lost our direction and sense of partriotism. Yes, we are a nation of immigrants, but we are Americans, all of us and should be proud to show it with our nation's flag. I know, it's outdated with today's youth to be patriotic and have a deep love for our country. The question those should ask who wonder what makes this country the envy of the world is, why do so many people choose to live here, legally and illeagully? Sorry if I offended anyone, I just love my country and am sorry to see it dimmished.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 8, 2014 5:59 a.m.

    At least lets be honest about this particular situation.

    This ruling was about one day, Cinco De Mayo. Not every day. One particular day.

    Do you think that it is just possible that those who chose to wear a flag shirt on that day were doing so to send a message?
    Isn't it possible that the whole purpose of wearing a flag shirt on that day was to invite confrontation?

    It is disingenuous to suggest that this is somehow anti-constitutional or anti-American.

    Maybe it stopped a fight or two. Or worse.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 8, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    Spencer you casually say the school was trying handle a difficult situation. No it wasn't a difficult situation it was outright dangerous.

    "The case stems from May 5, 2010. In the wake of ongoing gang violence and fights between white and Mexican students, the administration asked a handful of students who wore American flag shirts to school on the holiday commemorating Mexican freedom to either remove their shirts, turn them inside out or go home with an excused absence after it was warned a confrontation might occur. "

    The courts simply said that it was reasonable for the school to have believed the shirts were likely to invoke a confrontation of gangs.

    After all this is a shirt, not a flag on a flag pole, or a flag draping a coffin etc.

    Symbols have their place but they are symbols and there is a difference even in symbolism between a flag implanted on a hill top by a soldier and a flag on a t shirt.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 8, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    Gag!
    OK, so this was a little over the top on the PC scale for School District -- but --

    Killing the Constitution?

    I'll bet $100 you supported Bush's "Patriot Act",
    denying Muslims their right to a Cultural Center in New York,
    and
    Denying Gays their individual rights.

    Agreed, the T-shirt Flag issue is stupid,
    but the Constitution is being trampled in far FAR worse ways than that!

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 8, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    " I know, it's outdated with today's youth to be patriotic and have a deep love for our country."

    Do you think that maybe it is related to the hatred that they hear their parents spew towards our politicians? Could it have something to do with parents refusing to sign a note allowing their child to listen to the President address school kids?

    Or when the parents celebrate someone calling the POTUS a terrorist or that he hates America?

    Patriotism is something that is 24/7. It does not blow with the political winds.

    We can disagree with things and still be patriotic. It all depends on the motive and the avenue.

    This is aimed at both sides. We should be very careful in how we talk to and in front of our kids.

    Maybe WE are contributing to their lack of patriotism.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    March 8, 2014 9:18 a.m.

    I love my country, too, but I don't think that wearing the flag as an article of clothing somehow demonstrates my great love. Also, I'm pretty sure these kids are not the great patriots some of you think they are. I'm pretty sure they are trying to imply that Hispanic kids are not American, even though most probably are. It's kids acting like troublemakers, but heaven forbid that the administration have any authority to discipline.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    March 8, 2014 9:27 a.m.

    The Constitution may in danger, but it's not from liberals. How can we go about keeping the likes of Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Mike Lee, Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove, and others of the extreme right far, far away from the most sacred of American documents? They trash it every day.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 8, 2014 11:57 a.m.

    1. If they wore shirts like this all day, everyday or even frequently, this would not be an issue at all.

    2. The kids were ONLY wearing a U.S. flag specifically on Cinco De Mayo, in order to protest others.

    3. The only people who proudly their wore their Flag, all the time, on everything, everywhere were the Nazis...let's not go down that route.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    March 8, 2014 12:43 p.m.

    I agree with wonder but I would maybe take it one step further and say I do not appreciate these gang kids using our flag as a way to further their little criminal (fighting etc...) agendas. There is no patriotism in such behaviors. I also agree with some of the other commentators that wearing a flag on my shirt or anywhere else does not make me patriotic, this notion that going around thumbing our chest and shouting Merica some how makes you more patriotic seems a rather hollow gesture to me.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 8, 2014 4:07 p.m.

    I have worn symbols of my loyalty when as a military man when I felt it necessary to do so. And I wore civvies in San Diego when I wanted to be different from the crowd.

    When I was in the service, we didn't wear the American flag on our uniforms. I never had the slightest thought that I had to advertise my nationality or my patriotism on my clothing, my house or even my car. When I attended my first and only John Birch meeting, I remember feeling a little put out by their over use of the American flag to advertise their brand of patriotism as they put down others.

    That John Birch experience set my mind to the notion that people who fly the American flag in unnecessary places and occasions are covering up some flaw in their patriotism and character. And people who use the American flag to unnecessarily put down others are guilty of being anti-American.

    Young people should be counseled about the use of the American flag so that it will be loved and respected by all and not become a feared symbol of hate.

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    March 8, 2014 4:17 p.m.

    Absolutely nothing, no court case, no opinion, no act, at all, ever, involving the American flag in any way whatsoever does damage to the United States Constitution. That's because the Constitution makes no mention of the flag, ever, anywhere. I understand that the symbolism of the flag has some potency with some people. But the Supreme Court cannot make any decision regarding the flag that would do damage to our central governing document. They're completely separate.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2014 7:39 p.m.

    River dog, I'm curious, you seem to equate patriotism with how much people display the flag on their clothes. What I'm curious about is who are you to say how people should express patriotism?

  • RRB SLC, UT
    March 8, 2014 9:09 p.m.

    The kids were proud of their country. Nothing wrong with that. This isn't Mexico, and there is no reason we should not be allowed to wear our flag on the day that another country beat up the bill collector. (Cinco De Mayo celebrates the Mexican victory over France. England Germany and France lent Mexico money, and they refused to pay it back, so France sent soldiers, and lost. It's not about Mexican independence from Spain)

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    March 8, 2014 11:19 p.m.

    "Legal immigration continues to be the lifeblood of our country..."

    Immigration of any kind, legal or otherwise is what's killing our economy. We don't have the work for immigrants. We don't have enough jobs for our own citizens. Instead, the government has to shell out billions in unemployment benefits while immigrants take their jobs. And immigrants suppress wages because they're willing to work for less.

    As Ann Coulter says... stop all immigration and the government won't need to raise the minimum wage level. It will go up all by itself.

  • Alfred Phoenix, AZ
    March 8, 2014 11:40 p.m.

    @Cincinnatus:
    "Maybe Mr. Smith should check out the U.S. Flag code, which states that it is disrespectful to the flag to wearing it as... clothing..."

    It might be disrespectful but it's not against the law. Furthermore, it's not a flag if it's sewn into a shirt or other piece of clothing.

    @JoeBlow:
    "This ruling was about one day, Cinco De Mayo. Not every day. One particular day."

    Cinco De Mayo is a Mexican holiday. Has nothing to do with the USofA.

    "Do you think that it is just possible that those who chose to wear a flag shirt on that day were doing so to send a message?"

    Yeah, and the message seems to be... stop celebrating a foreign holiday in America. If you must celebrate, go to Mexico to do it.

    @pragmatistferlife:
    "The courts simply said that it was reasonable for the school to have believed the shirts were likely to invoke a confrontation of gangs."

    The court should have said, it's OK to wear American flags in America any day of the year. And those that would find it insulting should return to their country of origin.

  • Copy Cat Murray, UT
    March 9, 2014 12:34 p.m.

    Cincinnatus

    "Maybe Mr. Smith should check out the U.S. Flag code, which states that it is disrespectful to the flag to wearing it as, or on, clothing unless it is part of a uniform."

    But burning the flag is okay???

    I we are to allow burning, it seems that wearing is far below that on the offense list.

    So why is it we protect burning, but not the lessor offense of wearing the flag?

    That is the part that is anti-patriotic.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2014 6:42 p.m.

    You guys that have such a problem with cinco de mayo, do you have the same problem with St Patrick's day?

    Wow, RRB nice distortion of history there. I've got a question for you, do you think everybody is as badly informed as whatever talking head you got that version of history from?

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    March 9, 2014 6:57 p.m.

    Schools should ban the wearing of flags since it is disrespectful to the U.S. flag as outlined in the flag code.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2014 7:04 p.m.

    Copy cat, I, personally, do not think that burning the flag is "okay," but I will fight for someone's right to do it. Perhaps you don't understand the concept of freedom.

    As far as wearing the flag being disrespectfull, that's how I read it. The flag code also says it is disrespectful to use the flag in advertising, it also says it should not be printed on anything that will be discarded such as napkins and the like.

    I find these things disrespectful also. But they are not against the law.

    See, the flag means a lot to me. But conservatives would never understand that. See, I don't wear the flag on my clothes, I don't have a bumped sticker on my car of the flag. I don't even wear a flag lapel pin.

    But I know what the flag stands for. And I treat it with the respect it deserves.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 10, 2014 4:14 p.m.

    Perhaps, these children should have been allowed to wear their parents sheets and hoods too, kinda making the same point aren't they.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    March 10, 2014 10:30 p.m.

    Here is my issue of the whole thing.

    My wife is a school teacher, so I understand the district decision to try and not cause a race riot by telling the students they needed to change T-Shirts (by the way, wearing a T-shirt that resembles the Flag does NOT violate the flag Code).

    HOWEVER, the district allowed the students celebrating Cico De Mayo to wear Mexico flag shirts.

    So If the district was that uneasy about the situation that could arise, should they not have banned ALL Flag T-shirts for that day, no matter what country they represented.

    Some of the comments on this letter, really surprises me.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    March 10, 2014 10:41 p.m.

    Happy Valley,
    No they are not making "that" point... When was the last time you went into a high school that has Multi-Cultural students?

    Celebrating Cinco De Mayo was never the problem, I believe the attitude of the students from Mexico who was celebrating their holiday was the problem.

    So if these celebrating the Mexican holiday can wear flag shirts, why can't US born citizens do the same?

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    March 11, 2014 4:33 p.m.

    "(by the way, wearing a T-shirt that resembles the Flag does NOT violate the flag Code)." You're wrong.

    The Flag Code addresses the impropriety of using the flag as an article of personal adornment, a design on items of temporary use, and item of clothing.48 The evident purpose of these suggested restraints is to limit the commercial or common usage of the flag and, thus, maintain its dignity. - The United States Flag: Federal Law Relating to Display and Associated Questions, from a CRS report to congress.

    "The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery."

    "No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform."

    "The words "flag, standard, colors, or ensign", as used herein, shall include any flag, standard, colors, ensign, or any picture or representation of either, or of any part or parts of either, made of any substance or represented on any substance, of any size evidently purporting to be either of said flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America or a picture or a representation of either,"

    From the flag code

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    March 12, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    @Alfred Actually, it technically is the law. There just aren't any penalties for not complying with it. Which unfortunately means that people will ignore it. But, it still is a federal law.

    @Copy Cat Way to change the subject. I never said anything about burning it, which I think is also disrespectful unless doing it in the proper way. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court (remember them?) has ruled it a right of free speech.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    March 12, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    Mark,
    It says to wear "The Flag" Mark... A T-shirt with an a partial part of picture of the flag does not constitute wearing it.

    Have you notice most t-shirts only have part of the flag on it? there is a reason for that...

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 16, 2014 4:53 a.m.

    Wearing a flag doesn't mean you are a patriot A patriot on one who does good.