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

NDP calls snap election, Milobar running for re-election

B.C. Premier John Horgan announced on Monday that he will officially terminate… Continue reading

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Williams Lake First Nation inks historic cannabis deal with B.C. government

The agreement paves the way for WLFN to sell cannabis to the government, and open stores across B.C.

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

First full day of B.C.’s election campaign begins amid COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson and the Green party’s Sonia Furstenau criticized John Horgan’s decision

RCMP issue two $2,300 COVID fines at same Metro Vancouver vacation rental within 24 hours

Cpl. Mike Kalanj said it was ‘quite frankly appalling’ to see parties breaking COVID-19 rules

Here’s how voting amid a pandemic will happen in B.C.

Elections BC has worked with the provincial health office to determine safety protocols for voting

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. privacy commissioner will hear First Nations complaints about COVID

The hearing will rely on written submissions from the Indigenous governments as well as the Ministry of Health

Majority of Canadians support wearing masks during COVID-19, oppose protests: poll

Nearly 90 per cent felt wearing a mask was a civic duty because it protects others from COVID-19

Paper towel in short supply as people stay home, clean more, industry leader says

While toilet paper consumption has returned to normal levels, paper towel sales continue to outpace pre-COVID levels

Most Read