Flag not appropriate for carnival

With so many choices last weekend, it was hard to pick what I wanted to do. I could go to the arts festival on the square, Taste of Bloomington at Showers Plaza, or the Fun Frolic at Memorial Stadium.

Naturally, with the kid in me, I chose to go to the Fun Frolic at the stadium, and it was like taking a step back in time. With bumper cars, a Ferris Wheel, and a Tilt-o-Whirl, there is strong evidence that the frolic stepped out of an age long-past when things were simpler, easier to understand, and out of touch with reality.

Yes, I mean out of touch with reality, for the Fun Frolic seems to present to its patrons the 1950s instead of the dawning of the 21st century, and I don’t mean in the good, idyllic “father knows best” kind of 1950s. I mean the KKK kind of ’50s, when America, and especially the south, was out of touch with the notion that all men are created equal, the kind of south that I thought really only existed in South Carolina today.

Yes, the Confederate flag was for sale either in the traditional form or as a t-shirt at the Fun Frolic.

This is the same flag that has provoked the NAACP to encourage a boycott of South Carolina until the flag is banished to a “clearly historical position,” far from the South Carolina State House Lawn. Although the boycott started with a tourism boycott, it is in the process of expanding to the movie industry, labor, and college athletics.

I suppose one could argue that the flag being for sale at the Fun Frolic is merely an example of reminding us of the Confederate heritage, however, there was at least one flag for sale with the phrase “the south will rise again.” Somehow, I doubt that the person who created the flag actually is in favor of equal rights for all, regardless of race.

The South Carolina Heritage Coalition argues that the flag for the past 37 years (which is as long as the Confederate Flag has flown atop the South Carolina state capitol) has not been a racial divider. Obviously some people are oblivious to what the flag symbolizes, just like the Fun Frolic.

The Confederate flag is not a flag that needs to be displayed willy-nilly and sold for “fun” at a carnival. It is a flag that is best left in museums and historical displays that convey the divisive message of the flag and ensure those that viewing the flag understand the many messages that it conveys.

The part of this that surprised me the most was that IU Child Care and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Monroe County, the two organizations that brought the Fun Frolic to Bloomington haven’t stopped the sale of Confederate Flag-emblazoned items at booths in Bloomington.

The part of this that saddens me the most is that Cumberland Valley, the people who own and operate the rides, would even stock these items in the first place. There is no need for these items to be sold at a family event anywhere in the world, not just Bloomington.

I don’t want people to think I don’t support IU Child Care or the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Monroe County, but I suggest you contact them and tell them you don’t want the Confederate Flag sold at future Fun Frolics.

IU Child Care can be reached via Campus Child Care Support Office — and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Monroe County’s phone number is.

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