High School Cheerleaders' 'Stand For The Flag' Shirt Deemed 'Racist,' Shut Down

A fundraiser for the Dodge County High School cheerleaders quickly turned political and was shut down.

Dodge County, GA A high school cheerleading teams t-shirt fundraiser has become a topic of heated debate, after critics deemed the attire politically divisive and racist.

In Dodge County, we stand for the flag, kneel for the cross. Thats Indian Pride, the shirt read, along with images of an American flag and a cross.

Heart of Georgia Signs and Tees designer Lisa Hartley said she has been designing the Dodge County High School cheerleaders fundraising shirts for several years, and that she generally presents the squads sponsors with three different designs to choose from each season, The Dodge County News reported.

They pick what they want and approve it, and we make them, said Hartley, who personally designed the shirt chosen this year.

It was not meant to offend anyone or be racial. There was no hidden agenda in it, she said. For years, our football players have stood when the National Anthem is played, and they pray before the game. When a player gets hurt, they kneel. I considered that to mean that our Dodge County parents have raised their children right, and felt like it was respectful.

The cheerleaders began selling the shirts on Aug. 10, but quickly ran into opposition after critics began posting photos and comments about the shirts on social media.

The shirt sends a message of exclusion, not inclusion, and someone should have been able to recognize that, former Dodge County student and current high school teacher Taelor Rye told The Dodge County News.

People should keep in mind that purpose of the political protest that the shirt references [kneeling during the National Anthem] is to shed light on the injustices of police brutality, particularly toward Black people and other people of color not to disrespect soldiers or veterans, Rye added.

He then scolded those who did not agree with his perspective.

I hope that everyone who does not see the problems with the design and distribution of the shirt can recognize that other perspectives exist and that they are valid, Rye said. We should all work to be more empathetic, more compassionate, and more accepting.

In a since-deleted Facebook post, Dodge County School Board member Shirley Ikedionwu referred to the shirts as exclusionary and offensive, FOX News reported.

This shirt is not only one-sided but offensive, Ikedionwu railed. I cant imagine how our children would feel entering a place that is supposed to be welcoming and accepting of students from all walks of life, beliefs, and perspectives but instead, they are faced with this type of exclusionary message.

Resident Deneen McCloud agreed, but took her argument even a step further.

"It stands for the hurt of black people getting killed, beat by police officers, and getting off with it. So therefore, we as black people, some of us have taken that, to us, that's what it looks like," McLeod told WMAZ.

According to FOX News, Ikedionwu said that she voiced her concerns about the t-shirts to school administrators, and that she successfully got the fundraiser shut down.

At this point, the shirt will no longer be sold, the school board member declared.

But some community members had a different idea and simply began selling the shirt off-campus.

People have been purchasing the shirts directly from Hartleys shop, and surrounding counties have also contacted her wanting the shirt design for their schools, The Dodge County News reported.

White Hat Auto manager Nikki Mullis, whose business began selling the shirts to help the team, said that people from all over the world have contacted her to help out with the fundraiser.

On Thursday, she shipped three shirts to Afghanistan, she said.

Im standing because it has the United States flag on it and the cross. Those are two things I will back any day of the week, Mullis told FOX News. This aint just Georgia anymore. We are a community that when something happens, we are all together.

Get Your Warrior 12 Stand For The Flag Shirt HERE.

Resident Bill Tripp said he saw nothing wrong with the shirt, and that it simply represented the culture of the area.

The South is known for being the Bible Belt, Tripp said, according to FOX News. If you cant stand for the flag and you cant stand for the cross I dont know what you can stand for.

School Superintendent Michael Ward said that the t-shirts do not violate the schools dress code, and that they will not prohibit students from wearing them, WMAZ reported.

"There's no violation of anything right now. As long as it's not vulgar or obscene, they're within the dress code policy," Ward said.

Comments (40)
No. 1-33
negolien
negolien

That's the problem with the "movement" it's NOT valid... Almost all the so called "innocent victims" were at fault for their predicament and some were even attempted cop killers and heroin dealers so no.. no big deal they are gone.

ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

I see snowflakes ... all the time ... they're everywhere.

2A SUPPORTER
2A SUPPORTER

THEY SHOULD SUE THE SYSTEM FOR DISCRIMINATION BASED ON THEIR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS ...

15243
15243

I'm glad the community are supporting the cheerleaders by buying the shirts. The argument that all sides are valid is nonsense when coupled with restricting sale of the shirt.

fatdad
fatdad

Only the Lib viewpoint is valid. Not.

hangemhigh
hangemhigh

More BS at the start of NFL Kneeling Team Championships. In other news, a nationwide prison hunger strike began, to celebrate, honor or whatever, the death of Black Panther George Jackson (21 Aug 1971) at San Quentin. A lot of blacks still believe Jackson was murdered. He had smuggled a gun into the prison in a fake afro, courtesy of his lawyer, pulled it out and began an escape attempt until he was shot dead from a prison tower. Two dead white guards were found in Jackson's cell. This hatred for whites keeps going on and on and instead of trying to make any kind of peace they have to kneel and claim they are being unjustly killed by white cops. Maybe a good start would be for blacks, even just one black, to stand up and thank the 200,000 plus Union soldiers who died in the Civil War freeing their supposed ancestors.

Piewacket
Piewacket

What kind of bullshit is this? We have NFL players taking a knee in protest to so called police brutality towards blacks? What about police officers getting murdered almost every day? If black people would stop breaking the law, then police would stop arresting them! Police officers have the right to defend themselves! Its totally bullshit that these NFL players aren't disrespecting the Nation our country our flag ,police force and veterans! The entire NFL and their owners are cowards users and only interested in one thing: how much money they can suck from the American people! Football used to be an honorable game for all Americans to enjoy, but the NFL players have ruined it and, they should be ashamed, but they don't seem to know or care what it means, as long as they get theirs millions of dollars, who cares, they and their VERY RICH OWNERS DONT!

Mrs10
Mrs10

"Rye said We should all work to be more empathetic, more compassionate, and more accepting.

Except when someone has an opinion other than yours. Then you whine and cry and call them racists and sling insults everywhere. How is it possibly compassionate or accepting to vilify others who want to support the flag, their country, God?

If the shirts said anything derogatory about those who don't stand for the flag I would agree that's too political for a club t-shirt. But they're just showing community pride.

Mrs10
Mrs10

I want one of those shirts!!

bronx163
bronx163

I love how shit bag left screams first amendment for their views, but suppress counter thoughts freedom of press. Left are the true fascists/nazis.

I say get this girl a go fund me page going and fuck these commie left idiots.

Kneeling. Injustice cry is bs.

So 8 yrs under obama there was no injustice. Bs. Kneeling at nfl games is to protest white man with conservative values back in White House who puts America first and people who work hard.

LostAllSanity
LostAllSanity

There is nothing racists about this t-shirt and it does not "exclude" anyone. They do that do themselves. The t-shirt stands for American values and I am proud of the cheerleaders. Disappointed in the gutless School Board.

bronx163
bronx163

Also nfl players who are 95 percent black never took a knee in the 70s, 80,s 90s, early 2000s. Not until President Donald J. Trump was elected. Kneeling shit is a sham. Cry blacks get persecuted. We had black president and blacks became 4x more dependent on welfare, unemployed, locked up, drug addicted, and victims of violent crimes. Chicago under obama was 4x violent under him and did nothing.

We live in a equal playing field where all can make something of themselves. There was a black president, there is a black supreme ct Justice, there are black astronaughts, there black military generals, black police chiefs black congressmen. This kneeling for injustice is bs. Inner city people of color make up 95 percent of all violent crime thats a fact. Love it Police beat people. No police throw a beating when animals try to harm the police. Police are not the publics punching bag. U want a friend go buy a dog or go hang out at the fire house. Police are the ones who hold the line of stability and chaos. If you take a knee u hate America then go live in china, Venezuela Russia, Afghanistan see what they do to u there protesting. Libs are fucking idiots as are these pussy antifa jerk offs.

JBo
JBo

National Felons League. Not on my dollar.

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

There is absolutely nothing racist about this t-shirt!!! Just because you don't agree about it's message doesn't make it racist!! And this narrative about racist cops who are out to just beat and kill blacks has already been proven false!!! I have a long playlist of blacks caught on camera lying on the police!! And the rare time when a officer was found to be wrong they have been punished!! The black community's problem is not police but criminality and accountability!! Stop supporting the thugs and their crimes!! Stop committing crimes, running from the cops and be respectful and you wouldn't have a problem with the police!! Getting sick of this s--t!!!

RPG156
RPG156

When someone says that something is exclusionary, they almost always mean it doesn't include them. We must stop trying to be everything to everyone or we will become nothing to no one...

DieselDawg
DieselDawg

Grovel. Grovel. Grovel before the Race Card. How low can you go?

Forbidden
Forbidden

How does 10 or 12 out of 1,001,000,000 people in america that has job in law enforcement in america, make people want to disrespect the people who gave their life so you can basically do whatever you want. I don't see a blue line on that flag. so If you find it so hard to stand I will personally pay for your wheelchair.

joaquinradioman
joaquinradioman

I am sick and tired of seeing the misuse of the race card these days but what encourages it is people succumbing to it...I would tell them a phrase I won't use in this forum but you can figure out what it is!!!!

rover77
rover77

kowtowing to race politics

Nighthawk644
Nighthawk644

How can I order.......several???? :)

chessie58
chessie58

"It stands for the hurt of black people getting beat by police officers and getting away with it." Seems to me the black people in Chicago are killing each other off and has nothing to do with the police! It's a great T-shirt. Leave the kids alone!

magnumforc
magnumforc

I fought for this country so people could express their opinions on a shirt or however they like. Exclusionary? How about BLM that excludes anything else but black? How about changing the name of the United Negro College Fund...that's exclusionary. Can you imagine the uproar over a United White College Fund? How about the NAACP? That's exclusionary. No I am not racist as I have a mixed family but we all are so freaking tired of this crap. Incidentally, on Veterans Day weekend we have all agreed not to watch football or attend games etc. We need to stand tall for the values that shaped this country.

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

I want to propose something that may be different to this audience -- I write here often and I see so many comments pertaining to race on this page. I have written comments myself which I suppose some could be perceived as noteworthy ....and some which are not and maybe I later wish I didn't write. Yes, there are myriad problems in minority communities, terrible statements made , negative actions, negative reactions, clashing politics, etc. and which occur far too frequently.

I want to tell you of something that just occurred today and it gave me an idea. I thought to tell others such as yourselves. Today a young black man ,approximate age 18 to 20, came to my door and was trying to sell me a lawn service. The young man was articulate, presentable, polite, eager, genuine,legitimate ....and was selling in 95 plus degree heat. Do I really need the service? No, not really. But then I thought here is a young man who is professional, working , doing "the right thing", trying hard, etc.....These are values and behaviors which we always write about and which may be missing in many young people today .......I thought would it really be that difficult for me to provide some encouragement by giving the young man a sale? I thought here is a way I can provide positive reinforcement to a young person who >is< demonstrating behaviors we always say are missing. I listened to his presentation , gave him a bottle of cold water to take with him and advised him I would think about it . Yes, I am thinking about it ....no, not about the lawn product which I don't need.....but instead to make a positive difference and try to provide some encouragement to someone who may be a rare example, but who may also wonder if anyone else ever notices that he is trying to present a different picture than what are the typical negative stereotypes ....and he was just about 18-20. Can you imagine what that may feel like?.......I may help him even if just for one person at a time. If someone like this comes across your path who does exemplify positive personal traits then maybe you will make a point to let them know you recognize it and provide them some positive reinforcement..... Maybe this is a small way to minimize the hate. We have to start somewhere even if one at a time. Maybe you will think about it too.

HoldUpASec
HoldUpASec

I can't help but wonder what value any of you find in sharing these repetitive, closed-minded and frequently inaccurate "facts" and sentiments. Especially when any comment that doesn't agree with you is quickly deleted. In a conversation about how liberals censor opinions that don't align with their own.

Although there certainly ARE liberals who are exactly like you've described, the majority vehemently do believe that there is racial injustice committed by SOME police officers, but are still not willing to go so far as to say that anyone who thinks otherwise is a "shit bag", "cry baby" "snow flake", or "invalid". This kind of mindset inherently can not produce literally any positive effect. If you want to engage with, and ultimately change the opinions of liberals, start by making contributions that are thoughtfully articulated and positively/verifiably factual.

I'm not trying to start any fights, I just think if any of you has a valuable and/or unique perspective, it is being wasted only talking to other people who already aggressively agree with you

RunCop
RunCop

Liberal fricken crybabies !

Farmgirl1115
Farmgirl1115

The flag represents more than just any injustice in this country. The flag is a symbol of freedom, liberty, democracy. It represents the unity of America, the 50 states of our one great country. It symbolizes hope for so many. But it has been used, and abused, as a symbol for racial injustice and police brutality. That is not what that flag is for. How is any individual or group saying "stand for the flag" any different than an individual or group kneeling for the flag to voice their opinion? What's the difference? Either way it is freedom of speech, but if anyone disagrees with the louder voices of the activists, they are deemed wrong and "shut down." What about the cross? Even if you are not Christian, the people who are have the right to sell the shirts, buy the shirts, and wear the shirts. Where do you draw the line? I see people wearing offensive shirts that have ugly language or vulgar sayings on them. It's offensive to me and I don't understand it, but it's their right. This is no different. People need to back off and let the kids sell the shirts. If you don't want one, don't buy one. If you think it's wrong, don't wear it. For those who commented about how divisive it is, I say it's not a shirt that's divisive; it is a state of mind of some people that is divisive.

Oldlefty56
Oldlefty56

UNBELIEVABLE! Isnt there something in this country called freedom of speech? The only thing wrong with what these people did is... well... NOTHING!!!

satmantoo
satmantoo

@RunCop simple and to the point!

Katarina
Katarina

I believe the kneeling started in August of 2016 before the election to protest the myth of police brutality. Haven't paid much attention since. If they want to protest a myth, I can protest, too. Haven't paid attention to NFL since.

If you commit a crime and LE arrests you, you WILL be taken into custody. The amount of force necessary to accomplish that is decided by the person being arrested, not the police. Thousands of people are arrested every day without brutality--because they didn't fight and cause it to become physical.

Katarina
Katarina

Here are the email addresses for the School Board member that filed the complaint that got the fundraiser shut down. sikedionwu@dodge.k12.ga.us and Dodge County School Board: www.dodge.k12.ga.us

Fire_and_Steel
Fire_and_Steel

Something tells me school board member Shirley Ikedionwu will be getting fewer votes in the next election, if she runs. Wondering if she'll see a defeat at the polls as "racist," too.

Ligoon01
Ligoon01

Kneeling during the National Anthem is about the most racist thing there is today. Those who choose to stand for the Anthem are racist??? I think someone might have been dropped on their head a few too many times. What a big fat load of crap!!!!I would LOVE to have one of those shirts, and Yes I stand for the National Anthem and I keel to pray.

Blue_lives_Matter
Blue_lives_Matter

@Nighthawk644 if you really wish to order these t-shirts there is a link in the article where you can order one or several. I know I just ordered mine. Again it's more liberal BS because the students believe in our country and our God whereas liberals don't believe in either!! Show the live towards believe in free speech as long as you're free speech agrees with their free speech. God help you if it doesn't because then you are classified as a racist and you hate America because you believe in God and respect our flag as well as praising our president. 8 years of Obama started this mess when he's vilified police officers and put targets or bull's-eyes on each and every one of our Leo's. I applaud these cheerleaders for the love of country and faith in God. Those school board members and teachers that disagree and claim that it is racist definitely need to be fired and voted out of office