A group of students in Michigan waving a Trump flag and a 13-star Betsy Ross flag at a high school football game caused a ruckus, with some parents saying the flags could be interpreted as symbols of white supremacy and nationalism.
The students were in the opponent stands at the Ottawa Hills home game against Forest Hills Central in Grand Rapids, Michigan, wearing red, white, and blue in honor of Sept. 11th, Michigan Live reported.
But that didn’t stop some parents and others from chiming in to say that the flags made them feel uncomfortable after photos and videos of the flags were posted on social media.
Briana Urena-Ravelo, co-founder of the Grand Rapids Black Lives Matter group, said the display was racist and intimidating to the predominantly black home team against a white school.
“Even if these flags were just about the visuals and not a call to action or the intentional allegiance to a toxic ideology, it serves to intimidate, and that is yet an issue,” Urena-Ravelo said in a Facebook post.
Matthew Patulski, a Grand Rapids Schools parent, penned an open letter to Forest Hills Schools leaders saying that the chanting of “USA,” “go green, go white,” and the flags “unsettled” him and others in the community.
Patulski said the Betsy Ross flag has become a symbol of white supremacy and racism.
Forest Hills Schools parent Patricia Gerondale, whose son brought the Trump flag to the game, said the students’ chanting and flags had nothing to do with race.
“It wasn’t done to put anyone down or cause any negative feeling,” she said.
Forest Hills Schools Superintendent Dan Behm said to Michigan Live that the students were participating in a red, white, and blue theme night and that no harm was intended by the students.
“There was no ill will intended,” he said to Michigan Live. “To the extent anyone felt harassed or intimidated, that was not the intent.”