Tags: flag | art | paducah | kentucky | school

Kentucky School Art Project Desecrates U.S. Flag, Sparks Outrage

Sunday, 01 Sep 2013 08:46 AM

By Andrea Billups

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A public school art project has sparked outrage among parents in Paducah, Ky., who say the display desecrates the American flag.

In the art exhibit, located at McCracken County High School, the flag was placed on the floor with a music stand set atop it. Viewers are encouraged to step on the flag and then write their feelings on a notepad that sits on the stand,FoxNews.com reported.

The display is a reproduction of the 1989 art work by "Dread" Scott Tyler, which was titled "The Proper Way to Display an American Flag," according to Paducah Sun newspaper, which first reported the story.

The display drew outrage from local residents who called for the art teacher who promoted the work to be dismissed.

"This teacher should be fired and run out of town," read one online post to the newspaper. "I have a son serving to protect this flag at this very moment."

Wrote another reader: "It is a sad day when the symbol of this great nation is relegated to occupy the floor. It is a truly sorrowful day when the one who placed it there has the nerve to ask 'How does it make you feel?'"

The art teacher, Shand Stamper, apologized for the controversy in a letter to school administrators.

"I love our flag and the nation it stands for. I love the freedom I enjoy because of our brave veterans. I feel sick and deeply sad that through my actions I have dishonored these men and women and also poorly represented you all. I am devastated by my actions bringing outrage and negativity on you."

Some readers were supportive of the teacher's intent, even as the message was hurtful.
"I doubt this teacher intended the disrespect her art project exhibited," one said in a post to the paper. “But nonetheless, it was really a despicable assignment.”

Stamper's principal said it was an error in judgment and not a project that has been approved by his school.

"We don't condone this action and we handled it immediately and appropriately," he told the Sun.

The flag that was used in the exhibit was later burned, using the proper way of disposal for a flag that has touched the ground, the Sun reported.

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