School district reverses policy on Confederate flag T-shirt honor

When is a Confederate flag not offensive? When it’s a memorial to a family member and friend who liked the Dukes of Hazzard, according to a Minnesota school district.

KEYC reports that 700 T-shirts are being distributed in the Waterville, Lonsdale, and Morristown area in honor of Zachary Paulson,18, of Kilkenny and Derek Brandvold,24, of Waterville. The two were killed in an ATV crash in August.

The Waterville school district originally banned the T-shirts, but has since relented.

“I had a lot of kids come up to me and get offended,” Natalie Purfeerst, a sister of one of the men, tells the TV station.

“As long as it doesn’t create a disruption it is acceptable,” school superintendent Joel Whitehoust now says.

But students in Lonsdale and Morristown were told not to wear them.

“We’re sad they can’t respect and appreciate the boys,” Brandvold’s mother, Kris Purfeerst, says.

  • John

    Wouldn’t a shirt with a photo of the car from the show be as good or better a symbol? Or a big old photo of boss hog’s face on the front of your shirt? I know I’ve seen a few Dukes shirts out there on the inter webs (maybe even at Target some time ago when retro was in.)

    I watched the show when I was very young, and I can remember a few things that might make good tributes. That flag isn’t one of them.

  • MrE85

    If we had better schools, our kids wouldn’t have watched “Dukes of Hazard” (ducks)

  • KTN

    Really, the mother says because the school told students not to wear an overtly racist shirt, this is somehow disrespectful – she ought to rethink that definition a little.
    All those schools should have told students they were not to wear that racist flag- no conflict with the 1st A, there is plenty of precedent of statements kids cannot make in school, and honoring a racist moniker is one of them. Too bad, the schools had an opportunity to teach here, but instead they capitulated to racists ( I guess all in the name of the Dukes, so that’s cool).

    • James Ronnie Green

      There are many of us who do not see the Confederate Flag as an “overtly racist symbol” but as Southern Patriotism and Pride. We are sick and tired of you South-hating Yankees saying our Rebel Flag is racist when the American Flag–which some of us call “the Yankee Rag”–is just as racist. Yet no complains when high school students wear that emblem on their shirts. If you Yankees think we’re such despicable racists, why don’t yuns just kick us out of the union so we can form our own country and fly our Flag with Southern Pride–that way, both sides will be happy.

      • KTN

        The South lost the war. When does the losing side get to fly their flag. Don’t see very many German flags, or Japanese flags, so why do we want to see yours. You lost.
        You use Yankee in the pejorative, like it’s a bad thing.

        • James Ronnie Green

          There have been several instances in which the losers were allowed to continue flying their flags. Japan still flies its flag. Great Britain lost the American Revolution, but they still fly their flay. Italy lost World War II but still flies its flag. Shall I go on? And considering all the lies that the Yankee Government who denied us our Southern Independence told about us [such as us being “racists” and only fighting the war for “slavery”} many of us Neo-Confederates do find the term “Yankee” to be a perjorative. And, as far along as being allowed to fly Our Flag of the Confederacy, we were allowed to do so for generations after the Civil War, but now, because of what some teen punk did to an Afro-American Church in South Carolina and who was later photographed with a Confederate Flag, we are now forbidden to fly it. Give us Our Southern

          • Point of order: Japan’s flag isn’t the flag it had during WW II. Also, you’re not forbidden to fly the Confederate flag. To my knowledge there’s no law preventing you from flying the flag nor wearing the flag.

          • James Ronnie Green

            You seem to have more information on Japan’s current flag then I do, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt on that one. But regarding the right to fly the Confederate flag, some states are now enacting laws forbidding it from flying on public lands, even those honoring Southern Civil War heroes. Even when not expressly forbidden by law, it is forbidden by various public organizations such as schools and committees. We neo-Confederates look forward to starting our own nation so we can fly that Flag as our OWN NATIONAL EMBLEM.

  • Kurt O

    If anything the Dukes of Hazzard mocks redneck southerners. Boss Hogg and Enos don’t make the legal system look stellar.

    I mean come on, the mechanic’s name is Cooter!

    The show also made “Daisy Dukes” a thing, for better or much MUCH worse most of the time.

    • Beauregard76

      Excuse me, my uncle (who died of lymphoma FYI) was also nicknamed Cooter (after the turtle).

  • Thomas Mercier

    “But students in Lonsdale and Morristown were told not to wear them.”
    As a point of clarification…The Waterville School district is actually the Waterville-Elysian-Morristown School District so I’d bet that Whitehoust’s ruling applies equally in Morristown (middle school) as it does in Waterville (HS).

  • Beauregard76
    • James Ronnie Green

      I LIKE THIS!