Langley school pulls Japanese ‘rising sun’ flag after student petition

School district promises consultation with students and parents, defends using flag for war history

  • Nov. 19, 2018 2:20 p.m.

A Langley school has removed a Japanese “rising sun” flag from a history classroom after a student-created online petition against it generated thousands of signatures over the weekend.

Since it went up on Saturday, the Change.org petition “Take off the Sun Rise Flag in an Educational Environment” launched by Walnut Grove Secondary School Grade 9 student B.J. Moon has so far collected 9,700 names.

READ MORE: Furor over Japanese flag in Langley classroom

Moon said he and the other students who complained about the flag were “all Koreans and descendant of a country that was colonized by Japan.”

Korea has painful memories of the Japanese occupation during the Second World War that, among other things, forced thousands of women into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army as so-called “comfort women.”

School board spokesperson Ken Hoff said the flag was being temporarily taken down to allow “further discussion” with the students who objected to its display and their parents.

“It’s a little unfortunate that this was taken out of context” Hoff said Monday.

“The flag is being actively used as a teaching tool … you can’t start editing and censoring history.”

While there have been many messages condemning the use of the flag, a lot of them are from well outside the school district, Hoff said, and the district has also received emails supporting the decision to use the flag.

Hoff said the teacher who pinned the flag to a classroom wall was a “well-respected history teacher.”

“It’s [the decision to use the flag] not coming from a place of ignorance,” Hoff said.

Moon, Hoff added, was not a student in the history class where the flag went up, but had observed it from the hallway.

Moon did not immediately respond to Black Press requests for comment on the decision to take the flag down.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elkford Chamber launches a Youth Chamber Program

The program encourages youth to start their own businesses while developing community connections

Grad Committee donates leftover funds to food bank

Approximately $3,650 was donated to the Salvation Army Food Bank in Fernie

Health care priorities debated following surprise funding announcement

Surprise provincial funding stirs debate on local health care priorities during regional meeting

Fernie treated to a Tiny Concert in the Park

Shred Kelly members Tim Newton and Sage McBride played a live concert for the first time since February

Community groups receive funding through annual CFKR grants

Groups throughout the entire Elk Valley were supported through this year’s round of funding

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Most Read