Unpatriotic Acts in the Aftermath of the Attack on America-Truth! & Outdated!
Summary of eRumor:
A collection of stories about decisions that have been made in various part of the U.S. that have angered Americans: God Bless America prohibited at a school in Oklahoma, American flags removed from a New York newsroom, American flags banned from fire trucks in Berkeley, California, and patriotic signs being taken down at a library in Florida.
The mostly commonly circulated version of this was originally written by Barry Loudermilk, an Air Force Veteran who sent it to The Bartow Trader newspaper in Georgia.
The stories it references are true, but some have changed since the email was written.
There is a later version that begins with a reference to the state of Florida allowing a Moslem woman to have her drivers license photo taken with her face covered. That was a true story, but the woman, Najat Tamim-Muhammad, ultimately agreed to a compromise that allowed her face to be visible in the picture, which was not for a drivers license, but for a Florida state ID card.
In Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, a “God Bless America” banner was erected at the Wolf Creek Elementary School. There were a few complaints to the school board and an opinion from the Oklahoma State School Boards Association was interpreted to mean the banner ought to be taken down. According to ChannelOklahoma.com, however, what the School Boards Association had said was that the phrase “God Bless America” could be used as a part of patriotic displays. The local school board then issued a memo saying the school could use the banner, although not everybody agreed with the decision.
The Channel 12 decision was similar to ones made by other media outlets. They were concerned that even though they might be American patriots, they wanted their reporting of the news to be unattached to and unaffected by patriotic symbols. According to a Fox News report on September 21, here was protest among the viewers and the news director at Channel 12, Pat Dolan, went on the air more than once to explain the decision and say that the employees of the station were “proud to be Americans.”
In Berkeley, American flags were placed on fire trucks after the September 11 attacks. According to a 9/20/01 UPI report, city officials felt it would be best to take the flags off because of expected anti-war rallies. They said it was not an unpatriotic decision on their part or else the flags would not have already been on the trucks. They were using wisdom gained from past anti-war events.
The Florida Gulf Coast University story is also true. Library services director Kathy Hoeth told workers at service desks to remove stickers that said “Proud to be an American.” She said she feared they would offend foreign students. According to the Fort Myers News-Press, she quickly retracted the order and called it a bad decision. The president of the university also issued an apology.