Vietnamese-Americans Raise Homeland's Flag At Penn Valley College
|Waving both U.S. and Yellow and Three Stripes flag of South Vietnam
LYNN FRANEY, The Kansas City Star
A simple yellow flag with three red stripes went up on the Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley campus Monday morning, bringing applause, smiles and songs from dozens of Vietnamese-Americans.
They had lobbied the college to hang the flag of the former South Vietnam, which they call the Vietnamese Heritage & Freedom flag, in place of the flag of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
The flag of communist Vietnam -- a red flag with a yellow star -- offended Vietnamese-Americans by reminding them of the deaths of so many relatives during the Vietnam War.It had been hanging among many flags of other nations in the Campus Center lobby when a Vietnamese-American student noticed it and brought her concern to the Vietnamese American Community of Greater Kansas City.
Thomas Walker, a dean at MCC-Penn Valley, said the college was glad to make the switch.After the communist flag came down at 11:30 a.m. Monday, a Vietnamese-American man climbed a ladder and hung the new flag in its place.
The crowd burst into applause and waved small American flags and Vietnamese Heritage flags."We appreciate your support in making this celebration today a reality," Nguyet Thu Ha-Le, treasurer of the Vietnamese community group, told Penn Valley administrators.
She said the flag holds a special appeal for them because 260,000 soldiers, including her father and her brother, died trying to protect South Vietnam and defending its flag.
State Rep. John Burnett, a Democrat from Kansas City who represents thousands of Vietnamese-Americans, helped them bring their petition to the college's administrators."I love it," he said of Penn Valley's decision. "I'm really proud to be an alumni of this place."
Watch video of this event
People from the community, students, faculties attending the ceremony
Mr. Tien Tran hanging the yellow flag replacing the communist flag
Thank you speech
Freedom and Heritage flag hanging among with other countries flag