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comparative pol journal 5

comparative pol journal 5 - political There is no more...

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Kevin Heater 3/27 Lowering the Flag The students at Tokorozawa High School are known for their free spiritedness and independent thought, which they exhibited quite well in the controversy concerning the presence of their flag at school functions. In protest of a flag that many people viewed as being a symbol of imperialism and militarism the students of Tokorozawa High School refused to take part in any activity involving the use of the flag and the singing of the national anthem. This became a problem when the flag and anthem became mandatory at the schools entrance ceremony as well as its graduation. The students planned their own entrance ceremonies and graduation “festivals” in response and carried through with them with out incurring any real sort of punishment. This entire article is a great example of Anne Norton’s 4 th thesis that culture is
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Unformatted text preview: political. There is no more obvious symbol of culture than a country’s flag. The flag is unique in that it is such a small object yet it can symbolize an entire country, the stars on our flag symbolize the 50 states, while the Canadian flag’s maple leaf symbolizes their culture. In rejecting the flag at their school functions the students were really rejecting the culture of the flag. The flag is an artifact from Japan’s pre-war era and thus many Japanese believe the flag symbolizes militarism and imperialism; the students at Tokorozawa obviously believe that. Anne Norton’s 4 th thesis also notes that culture is the site of political contestation which was also apparent in the case of the Tokorozawa students. The situation in Japan illustrates many other of Anne’s theses, but I believe it does so the most clearly in regards to number 4....
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