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.

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

Just Posted

Young Ucluelet local earns Indigenous Language Revitalization Diploma

Timmy Masso hasn’t entered Grade 12 yet, but he’s already secured a University of Victoria diploma.

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Big Beach parties spark concern in Ucluelet

“You find needles, left over party debris, bottles and still burning fires.”

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

Beloved Island woman dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in Chemainus in two short years

Man arrested for allegedly pushing unsuspecting seniors, jumping on cars at Parksville mall

Cops arrest man after ‘aggressive incident’ at Wembley Mall in Parksville

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Most Read