Flag displays divide high school campus

Students at Missouri high school unfurl confederate flag in cafeteria one day after others handed out pride flags.

(NBC News) WEST PLAINS, Mo. – A display of pride and a controversial response has divided high school students in West Plains, Missouri.

It centers around two symbols with different messages: gay pride and the Confederate flag.

A day after a student handed out pride flags in the cafeteria, another group of students responded by displaying a confederate flag in the lunchroom.

Sophomore Rose Schilmoeller passed out nearly 60 Pride flags at school.

“People would put them like sticking out of backpacks or just carry them around,” she says.

Her underlying message wasn’t something she wanted to rub in others’ faces.

“A good way to show people that they’re not alone,” Schilmoeller adds.

The next day, some other students displayed a Confederate flag at lunch.

“I was kind of mad because you can have your flag and that’s fine but it’s like they were using it as retaliation,” Schilmoeller says.

“It’s like they were mocking us, but not only was it that they were mocking us, they also brought in a completely different subject because people were offended by the type of flag they had,” sophomore Taylor Pool says.

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