Photo Credit: KVAL News
If you can believe this: residents of the Oaks Apartments in Albany, Oregon have reportedly been told to take down displays of the American flag (1) because "someone might get offended."
I would be very curious to find out exactly who or what group would be offended by a display of the American flag.
This incident will remind my readers that last year Oregon's southwest Portland elementary school officials, in order to prevent the likelihood that some Muslim might be offended, decided to exclude the Pledge of Allegiance from an elementary school's ceremony (2).
And in May of this year Debbie McLucas mounted a 3 by 5 foot American flag on the wall of an office at Kindred Hospital in Mansfield, Texas only to find it taken down by another supervisor, an African immigrant (probably Muslim) who complained that the display was offensive (3).
This is what happens when we are taught that it is wrong to offend people. It is right and moral to offend people. If we are doing what is proper and respectful in our country then it is immoral to stop doing it in fear it might offend visitors to our country.
It is likely that 99.99% of America is offensive to some group. Beef patties offend Hindus, pork offends Jews, alcohol offends Muslims, wearing helmets while riding motorcycles offends Sikhs, the term "Indians" offends Native Americans, Christmas offends liberals, not being able to talk during a movie offends blacks, and so on. If we are not careful, someday no one will ever be offended in this country.
Given a choice to be free to speak your mind or never be offended, which would you prefer?
This resolved itself rather quickly: Flags are OK again at an Albany apartment complex
KVAL News, Albany apartment complex bans American flags
ALBANY, Ore. - Jim Clausen flies the American flag from the back of his motorcycle. He has a son in the military heading back to Iraq, and the flag - he said - is his way of showing support.
"This flag stands for all those people," said Clausen, an Oaks Apartment resident. "It stands for the people that can no longer stand - who died in wars. That's why I fly this flag."
But to Oaks Apartment management, Clausen said, the American flag symbolizes problems.
At the Oaks Apartments in Albany, the management can fly their own flag advertising one and two bedroom apartments - but residents have been told they can't fly any flags at all.
Clausen was told to remove the red, white and blue from both of his rides, or face eviction.
"It floored me," he said. "I can't believe she was saying what she was saying."
Even long-time residents like Sharron White, who has flown a flag on her car for eight years, has been told to take it down.
White said management told her that "someone might get offended."
"I just said to her 'They'll just have to get over it,'" White said.
Resident we talked to who had been approached to take down their flags all told us the same thing: that management told them the flags could be offensive because they live in a diverse community.
Attempts to find out for ourselves why management would ban flags were unsuccessful. KATU News wanted to talk to management at Oaks Apartments, but no one has returned any calls. The woman we were told had made the decision said she was "not going to answer any questions."
National Guard signThe mother of one soldier fighting in Iraq put up a poster in her son's apartment window when she learned of the ban. Her son's roommate said he'll risk eviction to make sure it stays.
Planck's Constant, 12 Jun 2008, Oregon Muslims Offended by Pledge of Allegiance
The Portland School District said there were no complaints about the pledge. They said they have little say in how principals handle end of the year ceremonies at individual schools.
The following is the full e-mail response that parent Briana Reese received from Principal Pam Wilson:
"The Pledge contains the words, 'under God' and we have many Muslim families here. So out of respect for the diversity of religious faiths practiced by our school community (parents and families) we decided that this year the students would memorize and sing the Preamble to the Constitution. At the rehearsal on Friday they did it from memory and to a wonderful song. It was very joyful and unique. I think you, and other parents, will really appreciate the creative and new way to open the program."
Planck's Constant, 28 May 2009, African Immigrant Is Offended by American Flag
ave we sunk so low that those running our institutions do not have the backbone to stand up for their own country? You no doubt have read the story about Debbie McLucas who last week mounted a 3 by 5 foot American flag on the wall of an office she shares with three other supervisors at Kindred Hospital in Mansfield, Texas. When she got to work on Friday her flag had been taken down because another supervisor, an African immigrant (probably Muslim) had complained that the display was offensive. The complaining employee has lived in the United States for 14 years without trying to become a US citizen.