We're still trying to catch our breath from all the responses we received last week about the story we broke on the Hobbton High School ban on flag clothing.
Not only were we surprised by the amount of the feedback, but we were also surprised by the variety of viewpoints.
A number of you wrote to say that it was wrong for the principal to ban students from wearing clothing displaying flags. Mary Carter who wrote, "I can understand the delicate nature of the various flags being worn. They hold special meanings to each individual student. But we as adults need to teach our children pride without hate."
Others were only troubled by half of the ban. They wanted students to be allowed to wear clothing with the American flag, but no other flags. Those e-mails included sentiments like, "...they're in our country now, they should respect it."
A third group of responders felt it was disrespectful to put flags on clothing in the first place. They cited the U.S. Flag Code which states, "The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery!" Click here to read the flag code. Respect for the flag is number 176.
But isn't it all really about intent?
Do you have to throw away your Reeboks because they feature the British Union Jack?
How about the red, white and green awnings at Italian restaurants?
Should the American Red Cross change their logo because it looks too much like the Swiss Flag?
Doesn't that all sound a bit silly? If we want to teach people who are new to this country what it means to be an American, then we should start acting like one first.
Maybe the place to start is by embracing the freedom of expression.