A Fort Collins, Colorado, elementary school has ignited anger and frustration after the American flag was lowered and the Saudi Arabian flag was elevated in a room inside the educational facility.
Strong responses followed after an image of the flags' positions was originally posted on a local blog. Despite the debate and attention this incident has been given, Bauder Elementary School principal, Brian Carpenter, claims that he has no idea how this happened.
In his response to media, he reiterated the fact that there was not an intention to disrespect America. In fact, the flag situation, he says, was rectified as soon as he was made aware of it. Carpenter told the The Greeley Gazette the following:
"The American flag is very important to us and this country so we treat it with respect."
Aside from the idea that placing another nation's flag above America's is simply not patriotic, there are legal regulations that prevent such an action. The Gazette has more:
The display is a violation of Public Law 94-344 of the Federal Flag Law which states “No other flag or pennant should be placed above, or, if on same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America,…No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the United States at any place within the United States or any territory or possession thereof:…”:
Some, of course, would wonder why a Saudi flag was up at Bauder Elementary to begin with. Carpenter explained that the school has international flags posted around the facility. They are intended to recognize the diverse nationalities of both students and parents, alike, he says.
“We realize this is an extremely sensitive time with us getting close to the 10th anniversary of 9/11. There is an increased amount of alertness and sensitivity, but if someone is concerned about something to do with our flag I will settle the issue right away.”
The principal believes that the image was likely taken before the current school year commenced. If captured over the summer, this could mean that the flags were accidentally disrupted during cleaning and classroom preparation. Also, there is a potential that they were purposefully placed in these infamous positions to create controversy. But these are merely theories.
Of course, it's possible that this was, indeed, done intentionally by someone working at the school. Either way, it seems the situation has been remedied (for now, at least).
(h/t Fox News)