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Are Archbold Students Ignorant of the History of American Flag?

aaron rex
Aaron Rex

In today’s Defiance Crescent-News there’s a story about Archbold Area Schools superintendent Aaron Rex wanting to put American flag patches on school sports uniforms (behind paywall) :

Archbold High School Superintendent Aaron Rex brought the idea of displaying the American flag on sports uniforms to the board’s attention during the Monday school board meeting

Rex is looking into the idea and working out on which uniforms and where to place the flag. He hopes this will serve as a way to teach students about its history and a way to honor veterans…

When I read this I said, REALLY? Are Archbold Areas Schools students ignorant of the history of the American flag? If so, whose fault is that? Shouldn’t HISTORY be taught in HISTORY class? Shouldn’t the history of the flag be covered in high school government class? Perhaps realizing how his request might sound, Rex added, and to honor the veterans. Ah yes, mentioning veterans is a sure way to make people feel bad and acquiesce to whatever you want them to do. It’s like saying, do it for the children. It’s a way of stopping all discussion and debate and subtly saying, this is a no-brainer, who wouldn’t want to do this?

Sorry, Superintendent Rex, this is a daft idea and an unnecessary, frivolous expenditure. If you want the history of the American flag taught to students then I suggest you have TEACHERS teach them.

Perhaps there are Archbold students who don’t want to wear the American flag; students who are troubled by what the flag now stands for. Not every U.S. citizen is a proud flag waver, and requiring students to wear the flag could put some of them in an uncomfortable position, not unlike those who object to saying the Pledge of Allegiance. While I would like to think every student would stand by their conscience, I know herd mentality is pervasive in schools and often students do things in a group that they would not do on their own.  This is especially true in athletics, where team cohesiveness is expected, even demanded. Not doing something, be it bowing one’s head for a team prayer or wearing a flag patch, is often viewed as putting oneself above the team. Regardless of Rex’s motive, the flag patches are a bad idea.


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    What IS it with mindless pseudo-patriotism? Is there a virus or something? You want to honor veterans, add a civics lesson on how they’re treated by their government after they come home. Don’t plaster little flags all over the place like stickers, and especially not on the clothing of people who don’t have a choice as to whether they wear it. Idjit.

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    What I find offensive is the bald and bold need this guy has to further brainwash/educate regarding patriotism and the American Way. I am always astounded as a Canadian, when I talk to Americans about their schooling, how the flag is worshipped and America touted as the one and only way to glory… reminds me of my upbringing in the church.

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    Archbold, being a Mennonite community, has a larger than usual amount of citizens who would object to this idea. At least back in the 1970s when I was in school there.

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    Right you are, Bruce. Always gotta love that, “It’s completely voluntary” bullshit, whether it’s school prayer, saying the pledge of allegiance, or wearing the flag on a uniform. Completely voluntary…til some of the more redneck kids gang up on you for being anti-Christian or anti-American (one and the same for most redneck folk). You’d figure professional educators would know better, huh?

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    Kate Bartlett

    Growing up in Australia I rarely if ever saw an Australian flag, now it has been appropriated by redneck (bogan in Aussie slang) haters. If I see an Aussie flag on someone’s house, car etc it turns my stomach. Our special day for veterans has gone the same way. Instead of being a source of pride it is being used as a kind of weapon.

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      Kate, it’s getting like that here, too. When I see it displayed, I get a sense of fear and loathing, because the person is likely aggressive and single-minded.

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    Everyone’s comment on this post reflects my own convictions on this issue. Thank you all for again making me feel less alone in the world.

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    I agree with you, Bruce. I have no problem with the oath to protect and defend the Constitution, but I have long since stopped participating in The Great Loyalty Oath Crusade (aka the Pledge of Allegiance). To me, flag-waving seems to be an excuse to avoid the hard work and critical thinking that deeper patriotism requires.

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