Ahmadinejad, YES. U.S.A. Flag, NO
By Janet Levy--FPM
Sampson County, North Carolina, was established in 1784 by Scotch-Irish immigrants from Northern Ireland attracted to its rich farmland and flowing rivers. Although centrally located and accessible to every major area highway, Sampson County today is a quiet, rural community.
Its 61,000 inhabitants, 18 percent of whom live under the poverty line, are engaged primarily in agriculture, raising hogs, poultry and agricultural products within the county’s 950 square miles. Last week, a local Sampson County high school was thrust into the national limelight because of a ban against T-shirts with flags from any country, including the United States.
The controversy revealed that this sleepy hamlet in rural America is grappling with issues typically perceived as the exclusive province of diverse, urban centers. With a controversy that mirrors similar conflicts in cosmopolitan, metropolitan areas nationwide, Sampson County may actually be a microcosm of the nation, rather than a last bastion of traditional, American values. The longing for communities holding fast to old-fashioned values may actually be wishful, anachronistic fantasies of nostalgic Americans.
The reality, as indicated by Sampson County, is that small towns in the U.S. heartland and in rural areas like Sampson County confront the very same moral and cultural dilemmas that plague the rest of the country. Unfortunately, it appears these same communities fall prey to inaction and political correctness, just as in metro areas.