Monday, February 4, 2013

Texas Schools: "Be Good Little Communists..."

...And design a flag for the USSA.

Thus is the analysis from, a school-choice website.  I can't say I completely disagree, but neither does this peg my outrage meter.

In fact, here is my biggest problem with the requirement for kids to create a communist flag: is there one for free countries?  See, the requirement reads thus:
Notice socialist/communist nations use symbolism on their flags representing various aspects of their economic system. Imagine a new socialist nation is creating a flag and you have been put in charge of creating a flag. Use symbolism to represent aspects of socialism/communism on your flag. What kind of symbolism/colors would you use?

Now, it is true that socialist and communist nations use symbolism on their flags, and specifically to represent aspects of their economic symbol (that's why so many of them have the hammer and sickle).  What is also true, however, is that all nations do that.  Our own "Stars and Stripes" are "symbolism" of our political beliefs.  It's just that in communist/socialist nations economic beliefs ARE political beliefs (given that both believe in government control of the economy).  Where the United States flag represents the fifty States, the thirteen original colonies, the bravery of those who fought, etc., etc., the USSR Flag (as one example) had the hammer and sickle to symbolize "The Worker."

So, here is my question- is there one that says, "Democratic/Republican nations use symbolism on their flags to represent various aspects of their political systems and/or national character.  Imagine a new Representative Republic nation is creating a flag and you have been put in charge of creating a flag.  Use symbolism to represent aspects of democracy/republicanism on your flag.  What kind of symbolism/colors would you use?"

If the answer to that question is "YES" then I'm... well, not okay with it, but willing to let it slide.  Teachers do have a fair amount of discretion in the classroom after all.  Who's to say the teacher won't lead the kids such that they represent their new communist nation with shackles and a dessert? 

If the answer is "No," then I'm not okay with it.  In that case, either particular political/economic systems should not have been mentioned at all, or you are advocating for socialism/communism- which would be the height of inappropriate in a school curriculum regardless of my own personal beliefs.

According to the story, various officials in Texas have attempted to contact the authors of the curriculum.  Hopefully they will clarify or change the requirement.  Until then, make sure your school board knows about the requirement, and knows that you vigorously oppose it until such time as the correct clarification is provided, or the requirement is removed.


  1. Some of these modern day textbooks and curricula make the Great Soviet Encyclopedia look pro-American in contrast!

  2. Learning about the ideas of others does not equal teaching them as the unquestionable truth. The bigger problem is that so many young people do not know the ideas of communism, its failure, and the fact that those ideas are being passed along by OWS types today.

    A lot of democracies have flags of tricolors that really don't symbolize anything other than their nationalism. I hate to say this, but totalitarian flags get their ideals across much better than we do. Oppressed people don't give a crap about the 13 original colonies, but the idea of the farmers and workers having power will inspire them. Yes, the results are bad, but we're talking about people whose politics are influenced by the patterns on a piece of cloth.