July 5, 2022


Through Education Matters

Flag Day fades from public schools amid culture wars

Maybe, with all the target on exposing college students to warm-button cultural issues, there’s just no area in the contemporary American classroom for lessons on Flag Day, the annual celebration of the background of the Stars and Stripes.

A review suggests extra than 30% of small children never know the American flag has 50 stars symbolizing the nation’s 50 states.

The survey, produced by the research learning system Brainly forward of the holiday break Tuesday, also finds that 53.2% of middle and large faculty learners do not go over Flag Working day in their universities. Nevertheless, a lot more than 35% want to study about it.

James Grossman, government director of the American Historic Association, says the holiday break — which commemorates the day in 1777 when the United States authorized the design and style for its 1st countrywide flag — matters significantly less today than the flag’s features and “how they mean different items to diverse persons.”

“Perhaps the flag is greatest considered of not in phrases of students memorizing specifics about it, but as a source of considerate thoughts in a history or civics class,” Mr. Grossman explained in an electronic mail Monday. “What should the aspects of the flag symbolize? Why?”

Wilfred M. McClay, a historian at Hillsdale Higher education, claims U.S. background courses have ever more “discouraged” a emphasis on the flag as a image of the country’s freedoms although emphasizing the constitutional correct to burn off it.

SEE ALSO: D.C. mayor adds star to U.S. flag for Flag Day statehood demonstration

“For the flag is our most potent symbol of what helps make us a single individuals. We really should not be astonished if our neglect of it will have critical penalties for our cohesion as a nation,” Mr. McClay said Monday.

This year’s Flag Day will come amid a contentious national debate above no matter whether U.S. community educational facilities should condition students’ viewpoints on controversial political troubles or stick to the info of reading through, creating and arithmetic.  

Spurred on by parental rights teams, Republican lawmakers have promoted parental legal rights in training laws in states which include Florida and Oklahoma to clear away “divisive concepts” from the classroom.

People concepts involve classes on gender identification for modest little ones, discussions of systemic racism in the nation’s background and “woke math” textbooks that use examples from each in word challenges.

Robert Gmeiner, an economist at Methodist College in North Carolina, mentioned conservatives should to stand up for the American flag.

“If conservatives believe Flag Day is a lot less critical than hot button troubles like CRT or gender identification, they must assume yet again,” he told The Washington Occasions. “Nike just lately built a pair of sneakers with the Betsy Ross flag with 13 stars in a circle on it. Though I individually assume it is disrespectful to adorn footwear with the flag, this could have been seen as a recognition of women’s contributions to American record, although the tale of Betsy Ross has been embellished. Rather, it was taken as a image of slavery, some thing unfamiliar even to numerous still left-leaning historians. Flag Day is a time for conservatives to stand up for the tale of America’s freedom-loving founding and the symbolism of that flag.”

Though numerous educational institutions are out for summertime crack each June 14, a teacher assisted build the yearly holiday getaway, also regarded as Countrywide Flag Day.

Wisconsin instructor Bernard J. Cigrand urged his college students in 1885 to observe the date as “Flag Birthday.” His drive to honor the flag led him to compose an write-up in a Chicago newspaper.

As regional celebrations distribute, President Wilson proclaimed June 14 as Flag Working day in 1916. Congress completely established the observance in 1949.

Despite that historical past, only 45% of the students who responded to Brainly’s study understood that the authentic American flag experienced 13 stars.

The survey also located that just 16% of respondents effectively realized that the red, white and blue colors signify valor, purity, and justice. Extra than 59% of the some others incorrectly mentioned it represented freedom, equality, and justice for all.

Colleen Sheehan, a professor in the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Management at Arizona Condition University, suggests the study displays schools could do a greater job educating the flag to pupils.

“The American flag reminds us of what America stood for at the time of our founding. It reminds us of the do the job we have nonetheless to do today to stay up to that eyesight, that idea captured in the phrase ‘America,’” Ms. Sheehan mentioned Monday.

Correction: An before model of this tale misinterpreted economist Robert Gmeiner’s remark.