Someone hung an American flag in a Fort Collins, Colo., elementary school, someone took a picture showing the Saudi Arabian flag hanging higher than the American flag, and someone posted it on an anonymous blog, GreeleyReport.com.
Now it seems a lot of people are angry, shocked, and outraged about it. They’ve flocked to the website of the Greeley Gazette (described dismissively as an “upstart paper” by the Denver Post), the first news outlet to report the story. They’ve bombarded the school with emails. Fox News Radio reportedly picked up the story and no doubt they were apoplectic. The school’s principal, Brian Carpenter, said, “It’s offensive to our veterans, it’s offensive to our country and it’s offensive to us.”
Bauder Elementary School is an international school and displays the flags of many nations to honor its students, Carpenter explained.
As usual, a lot of people are grossly overreacting to what seems clearly to be either a prank or an oversight. A flag was moved and a photo taken. The flag has been returned to its original location. End of story.
I do not think the incident is offensive three times over, as declared by the principal. I do not think the principal is culpable for not noticing the flag’s position for several days, as declared by Gazette writer Jack Minor. I do not think the sky will fall because someone misplaced an American flag and someone else (or maybe the same person) took a picture of it. I’m not even sure that placing the American flag in an empty wall bracket was anything more than … placing a flag in a bracket. Conspiracy theorists might even think this whole thing was a stunt by GreeleyReport.com and/or the Greeley Gazette to generate a little publicity for themselves.
What I do think is that the importance of this incident is miniscule compared to the hate, paranoia, and ignorance it seems to have elicited. That, not some photo from an anonymous blog, is what should concern us all.