Diverse Flags aim to promote inclusion at BG

Representation+matters%3A+flags+from+a+variety+of+different+countries+across+the+globe+hang+in+the+main+academic+hallway+in+an+effort+to+promote+diversity+and+inclusion.

Xavier Lipani

Representation matters: flags from a variety of different countries across the globe hang in the main academic hallway in an effort to promote diversity and inclusion.

June Park, Staff Writer

Recently, BG has put up flags of different countries in the main academic wing, which has sparked conversations surrounding the reason why they were put up in the first place. 

“Personally, this makes me feel happy and proud. When I think of the flags,” school counselor Brittany Vesper said. “I think of a student looking up at the ceiling, at the flag of the country their parents came from, or where their grandparents came from.”

Many people believe that diversity should be recognized and all students should feel welcome at BG. More importantly, that their ethnicity shouldn’t be a reason to be treated unfairly.

The flags of different countries were hung up on the ceilings during the summer of 2020, in an effort for students and the community to feel a sense of representation. According to junior Audrey Ro, the flags have sparked some learning and a bit of fun with friends. 

“My friends and I would try to go around and guess what country each flag is from,” Ro said. “This could be seen as a fun game, as well as an educational lesson.”

According to Ro, the flags remind her that BG is made up of students of different cultures, not just one single background.

English and EL Division Head, Susan Sangwa, as well as Division Assistant, Susan Marvin, came up with this idea. Their mission was to include students, no matter their racial identity.

“I wanted to give a sense of belonging to anyone and everyone.””

— English & EL Division Head

With the help of the BG CMA crew, Sangwa and Marvin were able to carry this out. They thought of this to make the school feel like a place that values diversity, and celebrates it.

With any actions in the name of equity some wonder if these moves are simply performative, however, the flags and recent murals including Amanda Gorman, John Lewis, and Sonia Sotomayor are steps in the right direction towards becoming a more welcoming building.

“This really gives a sense of diversity, as well as a sense of belonging at this school, and I’m proud to be a part of a place that celebrates all these different cultures around the world,” Vesper said.