Controversy arises over American flags on ice hockey team's jerseys

Oct. 28, 2005, midnight | By Mary Donahue | 18 years, 8 months ago

Conflict within the team on what message the flags would send

The Blair Community Ice Hockey team, which held its first practice on Oct. 19, is considering putting American flags on their jerseys, provoking controversy within the team.

The team members disagreed on the message the flag, which would be a small patch on the arm or chest of the jersey, would send to the public.

Defense player Jake Drengwitz, who proposed the idea, thought it would be patriotic, especially after the natural disasters that have struck the country. "I just want to show patriotism, that we care about the country in times of the hurricane; that the country's still strong," Drengwitz said. The patches would be displayed on the chest or sleeve areas of the jerseys.

The controversy began when players expressed concern that the flags would symbolize support for the government. "My feeling is that it's a political statement and would just be misinterpreted, even if it isn't meant politically," said goalie Robert Ginsberg.

Winger Lewis Shattan feels that too much is being read into the idea. "It's the sign of the country," he said, "not a political symbol."

Although at first there was discussion among the players' parents through the Blair email listserve, the adults reached an agreement to leave the decision up to the team. "I don't see what the big problem is," said Judy Drengwitz, mother of Jake Drengwitz. "Jake set up the idea thinking it'd be good. It was ridiculous to see how this escalated. Let the kids make up their own decisions."

Mary Donahue. Mary Donahue is an 11th grade, vegetarian Honors student who is addicted to sugar. Whatever free time she can find is quickly swallowed up by Doback, "her" horse, or her crazy friends, with whom she scares mortals. She isn't happy unless she is moving, which … More »

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