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Flags

Ethan Faucett and his compatriots parked along Mill Street on Tuesday morning, less than a block from West Salem High School, after they were barred entry to the school’s parking lot by administrators.

WEST SALEM — The battle flag of the Confederacy no longer flies in the West Salem High School parking lot after administrators asked students to either remove the flags from their vehicles or park elsewhere Tuesday.

Ethan Faucett, who said he first began flying the Confederate flag a few weeks ago as a gesture of individualism and rebellion, was warned late last week that the flag was a distraction. Principal Josh Mallicoat explained the significance and history of the flag. Faucett removed the flag from his vehicle.

“On school property, it’s not OK,” Mallicoat said he told Faucett.

On Monday, the flag was back and in force: Four trucks brandishing the Confederate flag were parked along the back of the school lot, clearly visible from Mark Street.

Faucett, a 17-year-old junior, and his senior friends Zack Magnuson, 17, Jared Novak, 18, and Jake Adams, 18, had scoured the student handbook for a rule covering the flags and hadn’t found one.

Mallicoat warned them they wouldn’t be allowed into the parking lot again with the flags raised. On Tuesday morning, the group returned to the parking lot, flags flying high. Mallicoat invited the students, now five of them, to his office.

“I tried to make it a learning opportunity for them,” he said.

Mallicoat again explained the significance of the flag to the students and what it has come to represent.

“It’s definitely associated with principles that we don’t stand for,” Mallicoat said.

Mallicoat told the group the flags couldn’t be flown on school property because they had become a distraction to other students.

“All of them claimed there wasn’t any racial motivation to it,” Mallicoat said. “They thought the flag looked cool flying from the back of their vehicles.”

He added that some of the students said they identified with Southern pride.

“In no way was it racist or to upset anyone,” Novak said.

Mallicoat said two of the students responded well when asked to remove the flags or leave the parking lot and they apologized for the disruption.

He said the other three students weren’t as happy to comply, but agreed to park elsewhere.

Novak said it was understandable that the school district asked them not to park in the parking lot.

“We didn’t put up a fuss. We understand that they need to teach and we are not trying to cause a big problem,” he said. “It’s rebel, not racist.”

Three of them parked their vehicles on the street, less than a block from the high school. Faucett and his friends returned to their vehicles after school to find the flags stolen.

Novak said people have the right to think what they want, but they don’t have the right to steal.

“All the flags were gone,” Faucett said. “One was ripped off the pole.”

This has done little to dissuade the students. They’ve already ordered new flags and plan to fly them again once the community calms down.

Magnuson said they are now trying to share the “true meaning” of the flag.

Novak said he has received a lot of support from fellow students telling him to keep the flags up.

Both Mallicoat and Superintendent Troy Gunderson consulted attorneys before asking the students to remove the flags.

“As a school you want to make sure you handle these cases carefully,” Gunderson said.

Gunderson cited the West Salem High School handbook’s policy that states a student’s freedom of speech can be limited if it causes a significant disruption, is perversely vulgar, or is harmful to one’s self or others.

“It had reached the point of being disruptive,” he said.

Gunderson said he faced a similar as superintendent in Galesville, where a student refused remove a white t-shirt that read KKK.

Faucett and his friends’ display caught the attention of a number of students, teachers and parents.

“They’re kind of idiots,” student Nick Johnson said. “They can’t claim the heritage because they’re not from the South.”

Student Brett Zinnel said flying the flags gave the school a negative feel.

“They can do their own thing, but maybe not on school property,” he said.

Mallicoat said he received numerous calls and visits from concerned parents, and a number of minority students expressed anxiety over the display.

He said in the display cut into educational time, but distraction became a learning opportunity because of classroom discussions.

This didn’t come as a surprise to the students who parked their vehicles on the street less than a block from the high school.

Magnuson said he and his friends understand the past, but that other people have misconceptions about the flag because they don’t know the history.

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La Crosse Tribune entertainment and county government reporter

Randy Erickson covers arts and entertainment and county government for the La Crosse Tribune. Contact him at 608-791-8219 or randy.erickson@lee.net.

(193) comments

corin7

Those who fly this flag should read their Bible. Matthew 7:12 quote Jesus, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This is the meaning of the law of Moses and the teaching of the Prophets. Also the same in Luke 7:12. Obviously this flag is a symbol of hatred and murder to many so why not follow this hallowed rule which is a fixture in many religions. Also why are the clergy silent?Where is their voice?

Nastysmell

Why is this still in the news?

AngryLog

I want to know where there parents are in this? Most likely the bar.haha. All joking aside redneck parents redneck kids. Don't get me wrong ghetto parent ghetto kids. Maybe ppl need to b better parent for there kid all around. My thoughts

Tdw

It's embarrassing what these kids are doing and it shows lack of intelligent maturity on their part and anyone who supports this. They have no personal reason to display the glad other than to "exercise their rights". How about you kiddos pick a better battle. Cause this just makes you look ignorant

corys1181

What are they rebeling there parents come on tour not a tyrant your a racist

RJRKim

As far as I know it is not a criminal offense to display the Confederate Flag. Therefore it's a 1st Amendment issue

RJRKim

As far as I know it is not a criminal offense to display the Confederate Flag. Therefore it's a 1st Amendment issue

RJRKim

As far as I know it is not a criminal offense to display the Confederate Flag. Therefore it's a 1st Amendment issue

RJRKim

As far as I know it is not a criminal offense to display the Confederate Flag. Therefore it's a 1st Amendment issue

RJRKim

As far as I know it is not a criminal offense to display the Confederate Flag. Therefore it's a 1st Amendment issue

RJRKim

As far as I know it is not a criminal offense to display the Confederate Flag. Therefore it's a 1st Amendment issue

RJRKim

As far as I know it is not a criminal offense to display the Confederate Flag. Therefore it's a 1st Amendment issue

RJRKim

As far as I know it is not a criminal offense to display the Confederate Flag. Therefore it's a 1st Amendment issue

allcav

Come on, people, just let it go. They want attention, and you're just giving it to them. Be calm and quiet, and they'll go away.

Juke Skywalker

"our education is one of the best in the area"

@ wsflagflyer - if your going to respond to everyone slamming you, at least put some effort into your responses... You're nearly ready for that middle school grammar course.

no name no slogan

Again, ten or twenty years ago, no one read racism into this flag, despite it was closer to the Civil War than today. Now though, the hypersensitive, brainwashing of today's media reads racism into everything, so these folks become today's Gestapo elite, looking for anything to support their idea of a racist America. Denigrate these kids, call them racist, call them whatever you want to justify your hatred. Realize though that all the hate is from you all seeking any means to call these kids racist, even though the only evidence that they are is a flag you are obsessed with that you project your own idea of without listening to anyone else's idea of it. I could just as easily say all kind of stuff about a rainbow flag and not listen the people who fly it reasoning. You are your own boogeymen.

Opus

That's a pant load, no name. You just weren't paying attention

Mr Bluejeans

Wonderful. These young scholars want to demonstrate their concept of independence and rebellion by displaying the symbol of Americans wishing to leave the United States. The flag these deep thinkers want to fly was used to rally troops in a Civil War that led to the death hundreds of thousands of Americans and also traitors to the concept of the United States of America. The War of Southern Rebellion, as the Lost Cause is quaintly referred to in the former Confederate states, was as pathetic as these fools are to co-opt the Stars and Bars to demonstrate their teen "independence".

Condor Kid

BLM also goes too far when they take over stages and take away microphones but at least they have cause. These rebel flag kids have no cause, no one is shooting them or persecuting them in any way. The are being unreasonable provocateurs.

DMoney

The cause appears to be the demonstration of free speech and expression. Apparently, the flag is just their vehicle to this point. If that's true, they are right in line with any other protests or demonstrations. I think you don't like it because they are not minorities or "victims". If their skin had a darker shade, maybe then they'd have a cause?

Condor Kid

Hiding behind consitutional legality doesn't justify needless, senseless provocation. Our rights are regularly abused as they are in this case.

DMoney

Any time of public demonstration could be considered "needless provocation". Black Lives Matter, gay pride, etc. The point isn't the subject matter--it's the idea that no matter what your cause, you are free to express it. It's a beautiful thing that can get shrouded in how the audience perceives it--

ChalkBoardJedi

I actually find it interesting that most of the comments on here are just filled with hate and rage. One side wanting to the other to see their view, their opinion....and doing so by name calling, threats and constant challenges against one another's intelligence. All this has really proven is that we will all probably be back here many times in the future having the exact same conversation and it will no doubt be filled with even more hate and rage. Pretty sad if you ask me. I would love to share my thoughts and views on this topic but most of you have made it pretty clear that the problem with free speech in this country isn't the speakers(or this case flag fliers)...the problem with free speech in this country is the audience.

DMoney

Spot on. Black Lives Matter protests for instance. I for one think their message is bogus. But I hear them and take notice.

DMoney

First I thought these were dumb kids being dumb kids. Now I think good for them. Their focused efforts and plan has generated more conversation than any other topic this week. If the goal was to prove a point about free speech, then their mission is accomplished. Well done and impressive from a bunch of youngsters. The topic of "why" and the flag itself is irrelevant. It's the point that free Americans can express themselves. Minorities and liberals are not the only ones who can vocalize their views.

ChalkBoardJedi

I agree DMoney.

tjmeyers

So which of the Confederate Flags bother you the most? Here is a bit of history for all the uninformed idiots. The "Battle Flag" was never the flag of the Confederate States of America. The only official flags of the Confederacy were the Stars and Bars, The Stainless Banner and The Blood-stained Banner. Also, slavery is not what ultimately led 7 states to leave the union. That was caused by the election of Abraham Lincoln who was not even on the ballot in 10 southern states. The Southern States felt they had no choice since they had lost their political influence. The North wanted to protect the Union...hence the war to not allow states to leave. Slavery was a side issue and generally considered an economic and not a moral issue. These flags all represent history. None of them in any way shape or form represent racism. Learn your history you stupid Americans out there!!!

Deadwood subscriber

"These flags all represent history."

The history of a Confederacy enriched via slavery.

Mac

Slavery was not a "side issue", it was the main issue. Read the Declarations of Causes for Secession that were issued by a number of the rebel states. Take for example and excerpt from Mississippi's declaration:
"Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin. That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few facts will sufficiently prove."

tower

Here we go with the useless minutiae of facts that mean nothing. The present fact is that the battle flag of N VA is what is now recognized as the Confederate flag. You claim Lincoln was not on the ballot, the reason? He represented a party of anti-slavery. States Rights? Only because of slavery. Yes the South did lose their political influence, over slavery. Your understanding of American history is simplistic at best and purposely deceptive at worst. Lastly you claim none of these flags represent racism. That is nonsense. The battle flag is used by white power, Nazi, and Klan units. It was carried by the Klan from its start. It was added to various state flags in the 50's because of desegregation in the South. So it differently was used, and still is, in a racist manner

AngryLog

The flag doesn't do any for me good or bad. But yeah these kids r little pusses said cuz it looked cool either your dumb as hell or aren't such a big tough red neck after all.haha

tjmeyers

Learn the English language.

Ts2009

This flag was the national flag of the confederate states of america. It's part of our country's history. If these kids flew the first flag the confederate states had I'm sure 99% of the people that find this flag offensive wouldn't bat an eye or have any clue what it is. Same meaning different design. Black panthers had a flag with a cat on it we should ban anything and everything with cats on it some people may find that offensive. This hasn't been an issue for how long now and as of the last year or so its such a problem.... better just take civil war time period out of the kids curriculum. While we're at it just take out the time period of Lewis and Clark and the Oregon Trail as that had to do with taking the Indians land and all the bad things that happen to them.

tower

mrshark, you are the one who interjected the 2nd Amendment into this. It was quite clear what you were proposing. I would love to see you show up at a HS armed and threatening. I am pretty sure you would get to see the Bearcat up close and personal. Plus every armed cop in W WI. But if you want to tone down the bluster we can have a conversation.

mrsharkb8

Apparently you are incapable of reading my entire comment. I suggested the right to peacefully assemble. As a side note, I suggested if you try to steal from me you may not like my reaction. I never suggested M-16 or some other "arsenal". I am well aware of the law against weapons on school property. However, I am also aware of my 2nd amendment right to keep and bear arms. You decided to latch on to that one statement and twist it into a personal attack. Perhaps you would like to address the other 2/3 of my statement. How do you feel about the emblems of hate hanging in the cafeteria?

tower

Again, this discussion has no place for a misguided expression of the 2nds rights. You fantasy of faux outrage about the national flag of some countries isn't a serious point to discuss as it is an attempt to deflect from the story. I bet you are the only one to get all uptight about any of them. The Confederate flag is not a national flag of anywhere. It is the symbol of the Klan, who fly it regularly. It is also part of various Southern state flags put there during the desegregation fight. It was put there to stick to some of their own citizens who they didn't see as equal. This nonsense about your faux offense and butt hurt only shows a childish view of the world and society.

mrsharkb8

I first recommended you read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but I now recognize you will first need a remedial course in English. Followed by a course on American History. My outrage is not fake or false; in fact it is as real as any outrage you express for the Confederate flag. Flags are all symbolic. Just as you wish to say the Confederate flags symbolizes a culture of hate, I say a flag from a culture that does not penalize the rape and torture of women is a symbol of hate. Whether it be a national flag is a distinction without a difference. I am not sure what to make of your "butt hurt" comment, but perhaps you have some unresolved homophobic feelings. It's okay, be proud of who you are. Your inability to present a coherent argument without personal attacks demonstrates your neanderthal brain in a cro-magnon body. Or perhaps you are a modest little person with a room temperature IQ? Either way, I refuse to have an intelligent argument with an unarmed person.

tower

Apparently you are slightly dense. I suggest you reread the Bill of Rights. Your failure to understand that no right is unfettered, ask mom for the meaning, and has limits, even your right to own a gun. And where did I call you a name? I can if you want that. You haven't discussed anything. Why should you have a discussion? You aren't capable of it.

Gram2jalen

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Condor Kid

I would like to see these trouble making kids trying to fly the defeated, racist, rebel flag around Milwaukee or Chicago! I'm sure that would enlighten them.

mrsharkb8

Typical threats to suppress Constitutional rights. How is that any different from the lynchings of the past?

SpiritofThomasPaine

Silly mrsharkb8.....these boys say their flag waving isn't racist.....all Condor Kid is suggesting is that these sad kids test that theory out....They can fly this enemy symbol of hate in milquetoast West Salem but they would never have the cajones to attempt their sill attention starved rebellion in a school district with citizens who have a painful history confronting the loser flag.

mrsharkb8

Well you've missed the point. Lynching, an act of terror, was meant to spread fear among blacks and served white extremists hope of maintaining supremacy in the economic, social and political spheres. Your challenge for them to fly this flag in such a school and implying they would be attacked is a comparative equivalent. Blacks in predominant white regions were lynched to suppress their civil rights. White students in predominantly black schools attached to suppress civil rights. Same Same. You and I may not like the Confederate flag (I agree the south lost and this is a symbol of that loss), but everyone has the Constitutional right to express their ideas.

SpiritofThomasPaine

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SpiritofThomasPaine

The Confederate army challenged the United States to a war and got smoked. This silly caveat that most Southerners 'weren't slave owners" ignores the fact that most Southerners supported slavery and did cruel and ungodly things to blacks way up until the 1950's lynchings.

Face it.....many kids are simply stupid or poorly educated, which appears to be the case here. Having "Southern Pride" in perhaps one of the most progressive anti-slavery States of the Union is an insult to our collective intelligence and defecates on the graves of the hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin men and boys who died fighting for the glory of the Union and an end to barbaric slavery.

These sad and pathetic fools putting humongous flags on their pick-ups (thanks Mommy and Daddy for the vehicles) are attention seeking clowns who undoubtedly haven't been garnering enough attention from the girls or boys they so desperately want to look at them. Beta monkeys

tower

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awol2009

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wsflagflyer

First off our parents didn't buy our vehicles we had to work and make money and get them on our own. Secondly you and everyone else feel the need to degrade us for the choices we make? Really? Our education is one of the best in the area its not because of them were flying them. It Our Choice...

tower

Since one of your group brought it up, define for us what is Southern Pride? Explain to us how you identify with a part of the country you don't live in. I agree it is your choice but that doesn't mean it is a good choice. Expand on your reasons for wanting to do this. If it was to get a rise out of people you could have done the same thing dressing up in Bozo the Clown costumes. I would point out that since you said you had Black friends who are ok with this I think you opened up the challenge of you doing this on the Southside of Chicago. After all, you shouldn't be afraid to promote your Southern Pride and Freedom of Speech any where.

wsflagflyer

There views are different than mine so I cant quite tell you what they ment when they said we fly them for southern pride. I also know we live in the north were not "stupid" the reason I am flying is because of the rebellious aspect. not the racist part which everyone associates with it.

awol2009

wsflagflyer: Your "education" really lacks in spelling, grammar, and punctuation skills. If it's one of the best in the area, I would have to give you a failing grade.

Opus

C'mon...give wsflagflyer a bit of a break here on grammar and spelling...instead, give this person a chance to really explain the action beyond "rebellion". Again, please share what you are rebelling against - what is the core of this rebellion?

Gram2jalen

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Juke Skywalker

"I have blacks as friends and there with us on this"...
This makes me laugh, not at you, but at them. To care more about making a pointless expression about their perceived 1st amendment rights than about their heritage.
ahhh 3rd world problems are so complicated aren't they

Republicrat

This really shouldn't be controversial at all. Liberals started this politically correct nonsense, and now people waste hours debating over the confederate flag. Most people were aware what it stood for a very long time ago.

wsflagflyer

Seriously everyone gets offended by us flying the flags, thats fine that was a given that was going to happen but, all the derogative things said towards us and our families is sickening. Also everyone saying that we are racist and just didn't want to admit it. No were not racist, yes we might be a little rebellious sometimes but people don't need harass my fellow flag flyers, friends, family, and myself. One more thing everyone that says we don't have jobs, well we all actually have jobs so please get your facts right.

RJRKim

As far as I know it is not a criminal offense to display the Confederate Flag. Therefore it's a 1st Amendment issue

awol2009

wsflagflyer-So, you've had your 15 minutes of local fame and fulfilled your extreme need for attention while making foolsof yourselves. Congratulations! The flag represents a lot of things to different people, most of which are negative, ie; racism, treason against the U.S., the flag of the K.K.K., . Are you so deprived in getting attention that you have to stir up controversy like this? I feel sorry for you; your ignorance and arrogance on this will not bode well for you in the long-run.

Opus

wsflagflyer - you are correct that people should not harass your family and friends. But you and your fellow flag flyers are responsible for that. Please understand this - we are all racist. We don't like to admit it, but we are in one fashion or another. Your choice to fly this particular flag is offensive, it is not just a symbol of rebellion, it is a symbol discrimination agains African Americans. All of our actions have consequences.

wsflagflyer

We could fly any flag thou and someone would find it offensive and spark more controversy..

awol2009

wsflagflyer -So, is that what this is really about? You just want to stir up controversy, correct? Maybe you could get creative and design one of unity, freedom, something positive. Why adopt and fly a symbol of racist human oppression?

wsflagflyer

Thats not what its about

Opus

Perhaps, but you really knew that this would spark controversy, didn't you? If it's not about sparking controversy, tell us what this is really about. What IS the rebellion that you are trying to bring to light for everyone else? You have the opportunity in this forum to share that - take advantage of it.

jharrimjr

Flyer, if you're going to be adult enough to take a controversial stand, then be prepared for the consequences. It's the price you pay for your values. That said, how about you and your friends head to Madison and protest the neo-Fascist WI RepubliConJobs running this State? THAT would really be something to take a stand against in the name of freedom and the best that America stands for.

CJ

Jhar you are one of the last people that should ever give advice unless it comes down to name calling tips.....

Deadwood subscriber

"No were not racist..."

Do you understand that the Stars and Bars represents racism? Irrespective of what some on here say, most in America associate that flag with slavery and racism. If you do not advocate slavery and racism, you won't flaunt symbols representing the same.

Does that make sense?

FreeMermaid

The Confederate flag symbolizes FREEDOM, liberty, and state's rights. Of course, a tax-funded, government employee would know nothing about such ideals. Great job kiddos for standing for truth, justice, and independent thought.

wsflagflyer

Yes this is the view point were trying to get across but no one listens to teenagers and young adults I guess. Thanks for the support

RJRKim

As far as I know it is not a criminal offense to display the Confederate Flag. Therefore it's a 1st Amendment issue

mrsharkb8

Stay strong young man. The Constitution applies to you as well. There are adults out here that support and agree with you. I'll have one on my truck when I come to the school next. You better believe I won't take it down or park on the street. They can't bully me like they did you guys.

wsflagflyer

Thanks man for the support and trust me were getting a lot of harassment for this its just on how people view it and the way they want it portrayed

awol2009

wsflagflyer -Oh, you poor little teenagers, nobody listens to you - well we have now and you rank right up there with ignorant, naive, nearly illiterate "southern values" of the KKK and treasonous Confederacy. Rebel? Good luck in the future when employers/colleges Google your name and find your immature behavior spread all over the web. I sure wouldn't want to you work for me or have any association with you. I can guarandamtee you won't be winning any popularity contests in the real world, when you reach it.

How sad for WS School District taxpayers that have funded your so-called "education" ......

Gram2jalen

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Opus

Also listen to opinions opposed to your, wsflagflyer. There is much for you to learn here.

wsflagflyer

Everything is a learning opportunity. There many different ways people view the flag correct?

Opus

You are correct! There are different ways to view the flag. But listen to those for whom that flag causes great grief over slavery and the treatment of those slaves. I don't think you have really listened to that, or you have dismissed it as being relevant.

Gram2jalen

Wow...just wow
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mrsharkb8

Have any of you been inside the commons area of the High School? As I recall, the upper walls are adorned with flags. Flags from around the world that do not represent what we believe in this Country. If one applies the logic of Mr. Gunderson, those should be taken down. As a recent visitor to the school, I was offended and felt intimidated by those flags. I was worried my wife would see a flag from Somalia, India, Pakistan, Congo, or Afganistan and be completely traumatized. Did you know that in 2006-07, there were 48 rapes per hour/420,000 per year in Congo. Take down those flags, and all those that do not support freedom and a republic form of government, Mr. Gunderson. "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech" I may not like the Confederate flag, but I fully support that the 1st Amendment. If we allow students and others the right to express themselves by burning our national flag or using it to wipe their backsides, then we have to afford others the right to express themselves by affixing the Confederate flag to their vehicles. I don't fly the Confederate flag like I do Old Glory, but you bet on my next visit to West Salem, I will have one flying high from the back of my truck. Try and make me take it down or park somewhere else.... Oh, and try and steal it from me..... The 1st Amendment gives the right to peacefully assemble, but the 2nd gives additional rights.

tower

Ya, maybe you and your fellow militia thugs armed with your faux M-16 can recreated the Oregon wildlife center right here in WS. Maybe you can place that 2nd Amendment armory up where the sun doesn't shine.

mrsharkb8

No where in you incoherent rambling is there anything resembling an argument. Your ad hominem (ADVERB 1. [of an argument or reaction] directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining) attack is weak at best. So, if you would like to have an intelligent discussion about the Bill of Rights or the Constitution might I suggest you actually read it. Once you have done that, then we can talk.

no name no slogan

After the Civil War, Lincoln hoped to reconcile with the southern rebels and welcome them back into the union. After his death, this attitude died, and a period of federal domination ensued. The flag remained as a sense of shared culture and unity. Non Southerners sympathetic with the idea of limited Federal government also embraced the flag. I can insinuate whatever irrational beliefs into the meaning of any symbol or flag. To blindly and stubbornly reject any refutation of those beliefs would be intolerant and bigoted. The people obsessed with race have become their own boogeymen. I know one of the kids mentioned in the article, and he's the type of kid (caring, conscientious, helpful, respectful) that any parent would be proud of having. I've known his family, his uncle was my step father, and there was never any hatred or racism in that family. Intolerant people will read whatever they want into what other people do as an excuse to hate them.

DMoney

I'll also point out that our president set a terrible example of making public statements. When gay marriage was passed, he lit up the white house in the colors of a rainbow. Regardless of your views on gay marriage, that kind of symbolism sends a message that being extreme is ok and there are no limits to personal expression. And that came a week after the president insisted that the rebel flag be removed from public grounds in Georgia! To say that other people cannot express their beliefs publicly is hypocritical and a hallmark of the left.

Gram2jalen

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DMoney

I am a Wisconsinite who loves and appreciates history and culture. I am also an avid conservative and defender of personal rights. But this is idiotic. I spend a lot of time in the Southern states for work. When I see people flying the rebel flag down there, I understand it because they are recognizing their culture, for better or worse. But when you are from WI it makes no sense. They have no connection with the South or their causes. In fact their ancestors fought and died against the men holding that flag. These kids are posers, and have no understanding of the meaning. But they are kids, let it go. We all did dumb things that were relatively harmless. It doesn't represent the view of anyone but the few kids who did it, and therefore is not symbolic of racism or any big meaning. Move along.

redneck princess

I am curious as to how these flags distracted the classrooms? Teachers should have taking the time to have a class discussion about this. The principle needs to learn that not everything needs to be taken down. I mean really can we say let kids be kids. How fair is it that these flags were stolen out of the vechiles? I bet no one cares about that though do they?

tower

Oh pleeeease, how about we talk it down and talk about it? Try reading it again, that is what they did. How about we let kids be kids when they show up in a SA uniform? Or as ISIS members? Get real. And I do care their property was stolen but how is that the school's fault? I am sure the WSPD will give the crime the due diligence it deserves.

Gram2jalen

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Judgeandbejudged2

bartleybigears , these kids have hobbies and have jobs- they're good kids and not racist at all...They simply are testing the waters and running with what they believe is "cool" without thinking of an harm done to others. We've all been through high school where there have been some kids somewhere that do things without thinking. Now that they know the flag is not accepted; of course, they are going to fight for what they think they believe in even more..

bartleybigears

These kids are just trying to get attention for themselves. Ignore them and they'll give it up. I think they need to find a hobby or employment to pass the time.

wsflagflyer

First of we all have jobs and we have the right to fly them...

awol2009

wsfagflyer - good for you! You have a "right" - bravo, bravo. Now grow up and do something productive with your life and maybe something less counter-productive to receive the attention you and your friends are apparently craving.

Gram2jalen

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RJRKim

As far as I know it is not a criminal offense to display the Confederate Flag. Therefore it's a 1st Amendment issue

awol2009

You are so correct, but flying the rag flag of human oppression and treason speaks volumes of their ignorance and character. They wanted attention and now they have it. It's sad they have to seek it this way.

RJRKim

As far as I know it is not a criminal offense to display the Confederate Flag. Therefore it's a 1st Amendment issue

Thinkingoutloud

I'm sure the good employers will all take note of names and decide if they want self proclaimed rebels working for them or not. Well maybe they won't need to, as the Einsteins will probably put that on their resume as past experience.

Gram2jalen

[thumbup]

Clarification

Hint to guy students: A rebel flag is not a chick magnet, unless you are cruising a bus station at 3 AM and a penniless runaway spots you.

screen name

What's wrong with people getting offended?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceS_jkKjIgo

bb

West Salem, you are a privileged wealthy suburb, behave. The confederate flag has nothing to do with state's rights, but about the right to own human beings for work and sexual pleasure. Idiots.

bigdogmiller

bb, you may want to check your history text. While slavery was a part of the Southern rebellion It had as much to do with the Federal government wanting to have supreme say/power over the states.

tower

Wrong bigdog. The only reason they talked about state's rights was because of slavery. It always goes back to slavery, period.

Opus

[thumbup]

Gram2jalen

[thumbup]

awol2009

Obviously, their school system failed them miserably in History studies. Maybe they need a refresher course on the real history of this flag.

Gosh, their parents' must be SO proud. This should really help them get into a great college or to land a "dream" job. SMH

bigdogmiller

I agree, the school system failed them. History class should include the meaning of the symbolism of the confederate flag as well as all of the reasons for the civil war. Your comment after that is unnecessary and actually degrades the previous statement.

awol2009

bigdogmiller, their parents share some responsibility on this as well. Oftentimes, racist bigotry is learned behavior in the home. If these kids are of minor age, their parents could counsel them and confiscate these flags. The school and parents failed here.

Ezzee

I love how everyone in America equates the Confederate flag with racism and slavery, yet no one seems to equate the USA flag with genocide.

I guess you get to choose the symbolism of the object as you wish.

Buggs Raplin

Beautifully said; thank you. It is the American flag used by the elite to convince Americans that the horrors and war crimes we perpetrate are honorable cause they're hidden behind the flag.

Juke Skywalker

this sure is an interesting comments section... there were kids just like this when I was in high school. We all knew they were racially motivated even though wouldn't admit it publicly. Someone mentioned one of them comment on facebook about being glad for the end of blm month, id like to see this post.

wsflagflyer

I like how you guys all think were racist just because we fly our flags. I have blacks as friends and there with us on this so I don't see the point of you saying that were racist without even knowing us.

Cassandra

These kids are clearly racist and looking for a fight. The education system has already failed them, as have their parents.

Buggs Raplin

Bullsheeet

Cassandra

Give me ONE legitimate reason to fly the flag that doesn't involve a racist ideology.

Ezzee

To honor the history of our nation.

Cassandra

The Confederate flag honors the Confederacy, a "nation" the Union destroyed, which was based on a racist ideology. Try again.

Ezzee

Yet you continue to worship the flag of a nation that has not only continued to institute discriminatory policies against its people, but also has been involved in a genocidal effort. I guess you chose the lesser of two evils, Cassandra.

Cassandra

Ezzee, if you hate America so much, you are free to leave. I'll stay here and continue to work for better days and a more just and equitable society.
You still haven't satisfied the challenge of supplying ONE reason for displaying the Confederate flag that isn't based on racist ideology.

tower

Southern Pride? What does that mean? Define Southern Pride. Pride of what, living in a mobile home with your sister/wife and 3 kids? [rolleyes]

Buggs Raplin

As if there are no such things in Wisconsin

Mack

These geniuses probably think a Nazi or ISIS flag would look cool behind their vehicles too? Free speech doesn't necessarily mean intelligent speech or that the speaker has any clue about what they are really saying. Classic case of 'long on confidence, short on competence'.

Wis_Taxpayer

The headline should read:

West Salem students endorsed by the KKK

Leo

More than 12,000 Wisconsinites died fighting against what this rag represented, whether it was slavery or treason.
I know children like to do things for shock value, it makes them feel "grown-up" but pick a different symbol. How about the ISIS flag?

Ezzee

And over a million people fought and died fighting for a rag that represented genocide.

Kind of makes you look at the stars and stripes differently, doesn't it?

CJ

What is sad on some levels is this will get more comments than when a black kid gunned down another black kid on the streets in LaX............

UW-Nowhere

Dumba$$ rednecks. It's their perfect right to be dumba$$ rednecks of course...

Monteee

Jared Novak: “In no way was it racist or to upset anyone.........It’s rebel, not racist.”

Jared, you have now put your ignorance on public display. Hope it was fun for you!

mud flyes

Why didn't they make them take the US flag down? Obviously the people who burn it, walk on it and don't respect it must feel the same as the folks that dislike the confederate flag.

Bullflap

I like the new homepage....who designed it? They did a great job.

tower

I agree.

no name no slogan

I love all these people who keep saying "the meaning of the flag is obviously racist," "people who display it are stupid.". They don't see how they have been brainwashed, how they have been manipulated into being obsessed with race. They never said that about The Dukes of Hazard. Who knew the truth was they were idiot racists all along?

tower

I suppose these Rednecks are waiting patiently for Daisy to be their girlfriend too.

Buggs Raplin

Tribune, I don't really care for your new set-up; just thought I'd let you know, but thanks for everything else.

Machiavelli

It's way better than the old, except that this text box forces you to type very slowly because it is not responsive (using a Chromebook). The old site was gunked up by trackers-adware-malware too...hope that doesn't happen here. I have Ghostery running now: it is not picking up any of the gunk. [censored][offtopic][ban][batman][tongue][crying][angry][pirate][alien]...BTW, add more emoticons! Way cool!

Buggs Raplin

Emoticons? Kind of childish aren't they?

Megan84

People need to quit being offended by fricken everything they are kids. They don't even know the true meaning of the flag. Get the f over yourselves. This world will never get over racism and other bs if people keep dragging the past on. Ignorance will only grow and develop if you drag it on. Quit with the bs freedom of speech learn it people. Those kids didn't disrupt anything in the classroom someone got their panties in a bunch and those kids paid for it by getting their stuff stolen wake up America if they had been black kids calling each other the n bomb no one would be doing anything cause that's OK.

Machiavelli

[thumbdown] The true meaning of the Confederate flag is the same as the true meaning of the Soviet and Nazi flags: hate.[scared]

[censored]
Raw Coverage of the KKK's Confederate Flag Rally in South Carolina

www.youtube.com/watch?v=js-JruvsB10

lookout

I'm sure someday people will see these kids names in the paper under who got arrested today.

sallyjo

Just because someone displays a REBEL FLAG does NOT mean they will be arrested. These

Nastysmell

110,000 troops from both sides fought there with perhaps 37,000 casualties. Nasty battle.

Nastysmell

Question of the day:
What do you call a teenager with a Confederate flag on his pickup?
Answer:
A cop magnet!
Dumb and dumber!

Nastysmell

I think these little pukes (who by the way play rap music while displaying those flags) should take a field trip to the Military battlefield museum in Vicksburg Mississippi where there is a monument to the 9,075 Wisconsin troops who fought or died there in the defense of America united. Perhaps they would see a relative interred there.

http://www.nps.gov/vick/learn/historyculture/wisconsin-memorial.htm

Ezzee

What does rap music have anything to do with it?

hammer

For the sake of argument, let's pretend a group of Muslim students backed their vehicles into a school parking lot flying the flag of ISIS. What would the reaction be then?

Machiavelli

They would be arrested..as has happened before:

"Police: Pennsylvania Teen Arrested For Trying To Help ISIS"

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2015/12/17/young-pennsylvania-man-arrested-on-terrorism-charges/

“When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called a Religion.”
― Robert M. Pirsig

Machiavelli

“All of them claimed there wasn’t any racial motivation to it,” Mallicoat said. “They thought the flag looked cool flying from the back of their vehicles.”


Yeah. Right. Sounds like they got cold feet instead. The flags were probably aimed at some blacks in the school: "to keep West Salem white."

Maybe these white entitlement brats have gone senile before their time, like Donald Trump or David Duke?

TULSA OKLAHOMA BLACK WALL STREET RACE RIOT HD VIDEO FULL DOCUMENTARY BLACK HISTORY MONTH

www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLwVxyD7A98

sallyjo

You don't know these kids you should NOT be saying they are white entitlement brats. You seem to have a lot of hate in your soul right now.

Liberty Peak

Would anyone be offended if the flag was redesigned to look like an A over a V with the same amount of stars on a red field ? Since the Confederate battle flag was used as the battle flag of Northern Virginia. A new design could be used as the battle flag for First Amendment rights.

superman

I say keep those flags flying! It's such an easy way to let everyone, who crosses your path, know that you're a special kind of stupid.

If I see this flag, I don't have to ask myself if this person is normal or not. The question has already been answered.

So you keep those flags flying high, little buddy! You don't want anyone second guessing if you have a brain. Make the it clear to everyone that you're stupid so they can stay away!

chucker

Flags are part of our history of the U.S. , so if we can't have the flag , then we need to stop teaching in History class then right ???

ou812

Celtic man; get a pair

CJ

Time for a diversity listening session......

Clarification

Regardless of the merits of this event, at least we are not in Trump's "good old days" when people who protest "are taken away in stretchers." At least not yet.

tower

Better in this case, Whizzie, to be a hypocrite over being ignorant.

Buggs Raplin

How are the West Salem students holding up after this "trauma." of seeing the Confederate flag. I hear some UW-L students are suffering psychologically from a prior incident involving the flag. Perhaps UW-L could send a team of administrators and professors to West Salem to deal with this tragedy. We must..I repeat MUST protect our children from anything that is not politically correct. Safe zones are a necessity. I only wish I had one when I was growing up.

redneck princess

And that is why we have so many butt hurt people in the world. Why does everything bother people so much?

tower

Ya dearie, that is why clowncervatives get all worked up about Obama so much. They are part of the butt hurt people I guess.

laxriverrat

Sticks and stones can break your bones, words will hurt you, and flags will now too!

Kronosaurus

Buggs, let's burn some flags and see who needs psychological protection. Heck, let's make an effing amendment to the constitution to protect their right to be politically correct.

Zrae

Which one commented on facebook that they were celebrating the end of black history month?

Mr Wizard

Hopefully the same one who doesn't believe the Congressional Black Caucus should be allowed to exist in Washington. Imagine how you'd feel about a Congressional White Caucus? By the way, what month is white history month?

CJ

Mr Wizard you will have to check the WET channel for that, when you find it let us know......or maybe MSNBC White section?

tower

You already have a WEN, it is called Hollywood and the Oscars. You also have a white history month. It starts on March 1 and runs til Jan 31 each and every year.

CJ

Hollywood is mainly a pack of hypocritical liberal loons so I would venture they are more your type. This is another much to do for nothing......

tower

CJ, the owners of the studios are hardly liberal loons, they move more in your circle than mine. Part of the good old white boys club.

lostinparadize

Tower, what size rod and reel do you use when you troll? Just curious as you usually like to stir the pot.

Clarification

Now THAT would be a dull-witted thing to say. Say it didn't happen, please/

wsflagflyer

None of us said we were celebrating black history month.

CelticMan

Did the KKK ever fly flags with turtles on them? I have never seen any pics or footage of that. Do white supremacists today ever fly flags with daffodils on them? I have not seen that either. Why not? Because those are NOT associated with intimidation of blacks, those are NOT used to intimidate an entire race of people.

However the apologists wish to explain the history of this flag is irrelevant. This flag has BECOME a symbol of hatred, intimidation, race-baiting, etc. Whatever the intent of these children, they either made a mistake or showed poor judgement.

These kids were not punished; they moved their cars. The flags were evidently stolen, which was a low-level crime, but much worse was done to people by carriers of those flags over the years.

Mr Wizard

The confederate battle flag has a derogatory meaning to you, CelticMan, because you have no respect for anyone else's opinion. That's the way liberals are. Hypocrites.

Machiavelli

Mr. W: "The confederate battle flag has a derogatory meaning to you, CelticMan, because you have no respect for anyone else's opinion."

Respect is earned, not automatically given. I don't respect Communistic or Nazi-Fascist opinions either, nor should you.

"21,768 murdered in Katyn massacre by the Soviet NKVD - April 1940 - Joseph Stalin Lavrentiy Beria"

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Geu0R4xGAi4

Deadwood subscriber

"The confederate battle flag has a derogatory meaning to you because you have no respect for anyone else's opinion"

This is illogical.

random annoying bozo

funny you should bring up the kkk, wasn't the kkk the enforcement arm of the democrat party back in the day? isn't the blm (black lives matter) now morphing into the current enforcement arm of the democrat party? aren't both the kkk and the blm both hate groups?

and doesn't the first amendment protect free expression?

lookout

Many of those members were also republican. It's interesting that you keep leaving that part out

random annoying bozo

so you don't dispute that the kkk was the enforcement arm of the democrat party? kudos to you.
and yes, there are always members across the political spectrum in hate groups, just like their are whites in the blm hate group.

Deadwood subscriber

Not really. No. Yes on the first, no on the second. A qualified yes (inciting riots, libel, etc.).

tower

And wasn't the Republican party the defender of equality and anti slavery? How times have changed.

spirit3

Oh goodness, this: 'wasn't the kkk the enforcement arm of the democrat party back in the day?, is something used a lot, with a under meaning, oh look I am not racist. However using that meme, says more that you really do have a problem.

spirit3

Just a fyi, it was not the Democratic party, it was a few southern democrats.

PADSLAPPER

Congrats to the "STUDENTS" it is refreshing to see there are still some minds that refuse to become herd animals and have the ability to think for themselves. Some decisions can and will be tough to make but that's what makes us strong. Be persistent and stand tall for what you believe in. Again, Thank You and God Bless!

Deadwood subscriber

"Be persistent and stand tall for what you believe in."

Racism? Ignorance? Rabble-rousing for its own sake?

The kid said it was a "gesture of individualism and rebellion." There are other, better ways to express both of these. And, really, is rebellion something you want to encourage?

sallyjo

There was NOTHING wrong with what these kids did.

redneck princess

Sallyjo, I couldn't agree with you more. This flag is not racist in the last bit. There are way too many butt hurt people in this world.

Wis_Taxpayer

That's right... so, when is the KKK going to show up on campus?

Redwall

I was flipping channels tonight and landed on the movie Animal House, the classic move about the partying collegians.

I got a chuckle when the character "Otter" was trying to coax a coed into his dorm room and on the wall was a U.S flag and right next to it a Confederate flag. I suppose now Animal House will be banned or edited to omit such an offensive intrusion into one's Safe Zone.

Toughen up folks.

Deadwood subscriber

Tell that to West Salem's minority students.

no name no slogan

The vast majority of Southerners in Civil War times did not own slaves. Besides the end of slavery, the other major result of the Civil War was the establishment of the Federal government as supreme over the States. I think during the Civil War more fought because they rejected this than because they wanted slavery. I think today most people fly this flag because they are sympathetic to an overreaching Federal government, not for unsavory racial ideas.

Deadwood subscriber

It doesn't matter *why* one flies the flag. A majority of persons will (rightly) consider a flag-flier a racist, a recalcitrant idiot, or both.

Find another way to express one's aversion to "government overreach."

Ezzee

We would, but most people consider burning the flag just as offensive.

Wis_Taxpayer

Rewriting history are we?

Ezzee

Burning the American Flag isn't offensive?

Kronosaurus

This goes back to the constitutional convention. Southern states were concerned that a federal government would have too much power. So yes, you are on to something, HOWEVER, their concern for federal power was directly related to the question of slavery. Until the civil war Southern states were obsessive in protecting their right to own slaves and were keen on making the new states have slavery. States' right to allow slavery. It's that simple.

Mac

"Magnuson said he and his friends understand the past, but that other people have misconceptions about the flag because they don’t know the history."

Sounds like his idea of the flag's history has been influenced by a lot of the half-truths and out of context presumptions that I see spewed on social media.

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