Colorado students posed with the Confederate flag and rifles in their prom pictures. Then, the photos were put up on social media sites striking shame and outrage in the people who viewed the May 2 prom photos.
These eight students are from Chaparral High School in Parker, Colorado. One of the girls in the photo, who remains anonymous, has apologized for her actions. She told Fox 31 Denver, that the word sorry is not a good enough word for her to express how she feels but that was all that she could say.
The mother of one of the boys in the picture said, that she was shocked by what she saw. She wanted the media to know that the picture was not her son’s idea. When he got to the location where the photo was taken, the guns surprised him, and so did the Confederate flag. His mother blamed other parents, the ones that were taking pictures. She said that the immaturity of the students was one thing, but when she saw the parents feeding into it, it upset her.
The Confederate flag was not the official Confederacy flag during the Civil War. The design of the flag, however, has been incorporated into multiple flags that have been used. It was used as a battle flag, and now it is part of Mississippi’s state flag. Some people say that the Confederate flag is a sign of southern pride. Some people say that the flag is a racist symbol. Variations of the Confederate flag are used by white supremacy groups.
Professor of ethnic studies, Arturo Aldama found this photo disturbing and is concerned if the guns in the photo are real assault rifles. He also said that the legacy of the Confederate flag is that of white supremacy, KKK violence and the Jim Crow South.
A student from the University of Colorado said that the students in the picture need to understand the meaning of the flag, and what it represents. They also need to be aware that people may be offended by the picture and why.
School officials are not commenting on this issue. The picture was taken at one of the student’s homes, not on school property. Therefore, the school has nothing to say. Also no rules were broken. It is not known if the students were disciplined, however, there will be a meeting with a Douglas County Official from the school system. The meeting is scheduled to include parents, students and school officials. Paula Hans, the public information officer for the school district, stated that school officials were looking into things in order to discuss the necessary steps to take next.
One student has come forward to apologize. Many students have expressed their anger and shame at their peers. A mother of one of the students in the picture has expressed that she has been offended, but her son has said nothing beyond being shocked that the flag and the rifles were there. However, he still posed for the picture. Professors have said that the photo was disturbing. Many students were offended and shamed. However, no one has come forward and said why the students chose to take their prom picture with the Confederate flag and rifles.
By Jeanette Smith
Photo courtesy of J. Stephen Conn – Creativecommons Flickr License