January 21, 2018
Principal John Bier
David Douglas High School
1001 SE 135th
Portland OR 97233-1924
Dear Mr. Bier,
I am writing as the president of the Vietnamese Community of Oregon to express a concern. The VNCO is a non-profit organization representing Vietnamese-Americans in Oregon. We request to remove of the flag of Communist Vietnam, which is currently on display in the school’s south side cafeteria. The correct flag which is the yellow field and the three horizontal red stripes is the banner of the former Republic of Vietnam.
During the conflict that ended in 1975, approximately 3.5 million Vietnamese lives were lost. The scope of the human toll is staggering. Currently, the Communist Party of Vietnam has laws that clearly target the religious and civil rights of its opponents, both internal and external. For any number of reasons, VNCO members feel that the flag of North Vietnam should not be on display in the school. Instead, the Vietnamese Freedom Flag better represents the hopes and aspirations of the citizens of Vietnam as well as Americans of Vietnamese origin. In fact, the Vietnamese Freedom flag has a long history, dating back to the conflict with Chinese invaders at the start of the current era.
For these and many number of additional reasons, the VNCO contends that the Freedom Flag should replace the banner of the Communist Government at the school. A number of other organizations have recognized the importance of the Freedom Flag. For example, it was on display at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington last Memorial Day and on the 4th of July. The importance of the Freedom Flag has also been recognized by various states including Oregon. The cities of Portland and Beaverton have displayed the flag as well. We hope that you will adopt our request and initiate a change. In the case of any questions or concerns, please contact the VNCO and we will be happy to discuss the issue.
Thao Duc Tu
President of the Vietnamese Community of Oregon (VNCO)