After reading the recent letter to the editor placing gay pride flags in the same category as the Confederate flag, I was appalled. These two symbols couldn't be more different.
The gay pride flag is a symbol of tolerance and acceptance for the gay community. Today, this fight for equality shouldn't even be happening. It's a sign of hope and unity; it poses no threat to our safety. Some consider it offensive, but there are no bad intentions behind it, I assure you. It's a rainbow, for God's sake.
The ideals that the Confederate flag represent are a bit more, shall we say, outdated? Or would you prefer obsolete? It was flown by states that had seceded from the Union, states that, at the time, supported slavery rather than a basic human right to freedom. Though not wholly so, it was a sign of intolerance and bigotry, a relic from a scarred history in this country. The raising of this flag lead to the deaths of around 620,000 American soldiers during the Civil War. How many lives were lost under the gay pride flag? And can you imagine an America where we pledge allegiance to the Confederate flag instead of the stars and stripes?
So no, gay pride flags shouldn't be banned in schools. There's a reason the Confederate flag isn't flown on the overwhelming majority of flag poles in America. There's no place for the ideals it upholds in today's society. You say it stands for "Southern pride and nothing else," but you are sadly mistaken, ma'am. And when I see a student's truck with "NOBAMA" plastered on the side and a Confederate flag on the tailgate, I become a bit suspicious, but I won't jump to any conclusions.
Instead, I practice acceptance and tolerance, something a current teacher instilled in my heart when I attended Dolores High School, because it's something this person fights for every day. The fact that people look to the gay pride symbol for inspiration and hope that they may soon achieve equality is an encouraging thought, is it not?