Walnut Grove teacher displays controversial flag in classroom

Dan Mountain / November 19, 2018

Rising Sun Flag in a Walnut Grove Humanities Classroom
(Byeong Jun Moon)

Langley ninth grade student ByeongJun Moon wrote a petition to stop a Walnut Grove Humanities teacher from using a Japanese Rising Sun Flag in his classroom.

Moon and seven other students are petitioning to the school to get them to stop using the flag, because they said it reminds them of Japanese ties to Nazi Germany in the second world war.

Moon said that the flag represents memories of what his ancestors went through during the Japanese invasions of Korea.

“We are all Koreans and descendants of a country that was colonized by Japan. It’s very rare to feel so despondent. Thinking of the tragedies my grandparents went through, we cannot imagine how someone wouldn’t find this symbol as inhumane and unethical. ” – B.J Moon, Ninth grade Walnut Grove Student

UBC Professor of Japanese History and Culture, Nam-in Hur says that the flag is recognized by the Korean and Chinese government as an offensive symbol that reminds them of a time of oppression.

He said it was used during the Second World War by the Japanese army, navy and air force during their invasions of Korea and China.

He said that the use of the flag should be used sensitively around those with historical and ancestral ties to Korea and China.

Army backpackers

(Pexels)

“It’s a symbol of Japanese invasion or intrusion into Korea and China. The people in Korea and China become offended when they see that” – Nam-in Hur, Ph.D and Professor of History of Japan and Religious Culture

Walnut Grove Secondary School

(Google Street View / Undated)

The Communications Manager for the Langley School District, Ken Hoff, said that the flag has been temporarily taken down until further discussion can be made. He said that the flag is one of many artifacts used by the school to teach students about the second world war.

He says that the Langley School board supports Walnut Secondary School in creating a dialogue and a discussion around historical elements.

A lesson is more valid with examples and discussion points than with no materials whatsoever” – Ken Hoff, Communications Director for the Langley School District

Moon’s petition to have the flag permanently removed from an educational environment had just under 10,000 signatures as of Monday afternoon.

Walnut Grove Petition

(Change.org)