Rumors fly over use of Rebel Flag

Posted: Feb 04, 2011

By Amanda Hanson

LAKE CITY, AR (KAIT) – For 25-years, Riverside School District has been the home of the Rebels! But, rumors are flying over the school’s use of the mascot and confederate flag. Superintendent Tommy Knight says the school will not tolerate the use of the flag in a negative way. But, he says the district has no plans to change the mascot.

"Some people may see it as racial insensitive, in my opinion, but at the same time everybody in this nation went through what everybody went through and that was part of everybody’s history," says former Riverside student Albert Burnside.

"People get so upset over little things like that and they even get down to the point where they want to change "in God we trust" on the money and people trying to get things changed that don’t need to be changed," says resident Timothy M. Jones.

At the last Riverside School District home game this past Tuesday, a teenaged boy was caught camera running around the basketball court waving a Confederate flag! "He was unknown to the administration, in addition no one had asked to run the flag around during the game. the Principal on duty asked him to leave as a disciplinary and security measure," says Riverside School District Superintendent Tommy Knight.

Since then the talk of the town has been the school mascot and the battle flag. Some are saying the school plans to do away with both.

"Some well meaning but misinformed patrons in our district thought we were trying to change the mascot. At no time have to tried to change the Rebel as our mascot," says Knight.

While the mascot will stay the same, Knight says the Student Council has formed a committee to design a flag to use at ball games.

"We recognize the flag in question can be offensive to many in our society, and we try to be cognitive of that in our presentations," says Knight.

Knight says Tuesday night’s incident has very little to do with the flag. Instead, he says it is more of a safety and security issue.

Copyright 2011 KAIT

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