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 1:20 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.

Just Posted

Trail house fire under investigation

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Fire Rescue responded early Monday

New head of library services at Trail Riverfront Centre

Samantha Murphy filled various positions at the Trail library over the past 5 years

St. Michael’s KIDS Care Centre and Little Saints kindergarten celebrated

Little Saints Junior Kindergarten will be ready to go this fall

Historic maps reveal obscure Arrow Lake place names

Place Names: Little-known Arrow Lakes names

A hint of NHL favoritism?

“There will certainly be lots of side stories, bottom stories, involved to draw my attention.”

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read