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riley dieffenbach
03-31-2001, 10:21 PM
I had no idea where to post this query but I really must know the answer. I was watching the movie "The Breakfast Club" which I assume most everyone has seen umpteen times.

In several scenes the library in which they are serving their detention sports a Confederate flag. This is most visible in the ridiculous Emilio Estevez dancing scene.

Just what the heck is the stars and bars doing in a Chicago suburban high school and is there any significance to it? Anyone else notice this?

VitrolicBump
03-31-2001, 10:31 PM
Great! That means I will have to watch the movie AGAIN! :D
I love it so.

Zarathustra
03-31-2001, 11:11 PM
Originally posted by riley dieffenbach
Just what the heck is the stars and bars doing in a Chicago suburban high school and is there any significance to it? Anyone else notice this?

Was it the "Stars and Bars", or was it the more commonly-known battle flag (looks like a blue "X" on a red field)?

riley dieffenbach
03-31-2001, 11:34 PM
An excellent point - it was not the stars and bars. Twas the battle flag.

D Marie
04-01-2001, 07:58 AM
I remember thinking when I saw it that it was probably one of the state flags (like Georgia's former one) that incorporated the battle flag. Maybe the library had a display of state flags?

Spoke
04-01-2001, 03:59 PM
I think D Marie is right. It is probably the Georgia or Mississippi state flag you are seeing.

But here's another question: Why does the Tennessee state flag make an appearance in Animal House? Is Faber College supposed to be in Tennessee? Was the movie filmed there?

There's also a rebel flag scene in Animal House. It's on the wall in one of the dorm rooms.

John Bredin
04-01-2001, 04:28 PM
"Just what the heck is the stars and bars doing in a Chicago suburban high school...?"

Ridgewood High School of Norridge, Illinois calls its sports teams the "Rebels". Ridgewood is in the near *northern* suburbs, oddly enough. :)

http://www.ridgenet.org/fall99web/index.htm

On the other hand, the movie was filmed in one of the Maine Township (a nearby northwest suburban area) high schools, IIRC.

Gazoo
04-01-2001, 05:06 PM
Originally posted by spoke-
But here's another question: Why does the Tennessee state flag make an appearance in Animal House? Is Faber College supposed to be in Tennessee? Was the movie filmed there?IIRC, Animal House was filmed at a school in Washington State. But I could be wrong on that.

riley dieffenbach
04-01-2001, 07:46 PM
Hmmmm ... Don't think its a collection of state flags. I'm pretty certain the scene showed three flags with the US flag slightly higher in the middle with another clearly state flag to the left and the Confederate flag to the right.

I also looked closely and the only markings I could see was the classic X of the battle flag. No additional markings that are typical of the few states which incorporate the battle flag.

D Marie
04-01-2001, 08:38 PM
I might be looking at a different flag than the one you're talking about, but right when Emilio Estevez comes out of the language lab or whatever it is and starts dancing, I saw a flag that looked an awful lot like this one:

Old Georgia state flag (http://www.50states.com/flag/gaflag.htm)

Is there another scene where the flag is visible?

keeper0
04-01-2001, 08:48 PM
Possible reasons for the battle flag to be on display in a school library.

1) It is part of a display on the Civil War, which would would include books and maps and discussions.

2) It is an "authentic" flag captured during the Civil War by Illinois troops and donated to the school. Displaying such as a piece of history would be appropriate.

3) <insert greetings to felines>

4) The high school is actually in Georgia/Alabama/South Carolina or other state where a sizable portion of the community doesn't comprehend why veneration of the battle flag is offensive and demeaning to another portion of the population.


On the other hand, the director may have added it to the background for reasons which may defy logic.

Jois
04-01-2001, 11:58 PM
The Breakfast Club was on TV this past weekend and I noticed what seemed to be the CSA flag, too. I tried to get a better look at each time it appeared but saw nothing that would have made me connect it to a display. John Bredin's idea of school flag or sport's flag doesn't sound too bad.

Jois

Jois
04-02-2001, 12:06 AM
It wasn't the Union Jack, was it?

http://www.jdawiseman.com/papers/union-jack/union-jack.html

Jois

riley dieffenbach
04-02-2001, 06:45 AM
Suppose it could be part of a display. Definitely not the Union Jack or the Georgia flag. Everytime I saw it I felt like I was watch the Bizarro version of the B-Club

Spoke
04-02-2001, 08:31 AM
Perhaps John Hughes threw it into the background as an emblem of rebellion.

Jois
04-02-2001, 09:34 AM
spoke- Perhaps John Hughes threw it into the background as an emblem of rebellion.

That sounds pretty good. Lots of stuff is tossed into movies for worse reasons. It certainly took my eyes off the dancer and into the "What's that?" mode for a few seconds.

Distracting enough that Keeper0's "On the other hand, the director may have added it to the background for reasons which may defy logic. seems right, too; it was a distraction, it didn't remain "background color" but remained in the movie anyway.

Jois

Jack Batty
04-02-2001, 10:13 AM
Originally posted by Gazoo
IIRC, Animal House was filmed at a school in Washington State. But I could be wrong on that.
Close ... it was filmed at the University of Oregon in Eugene. They ended up there because the campus looked very "east coast". The movie itself was based on the writer's (can't remember his name) experiences at Dartmouth College in New England.

Spoke
04-02-2001, 10:36 AM
The movie was filmed 15 years ago, and you have to realize that attitudes about the Confederate flag have shifted a bit in that time. The Confederate flag was a pretty common sight in the 70's and into the 80's in a context that suggests that it was understood to stand for rebellion in general. Showed up in lots of decals. Look in the old decal ads from the 70's. You'll find the Confederate flag right there next to the "ecology flag" and the Jolly Roger. The flag got waved around at rock concerts. It showed up in movies (see that Animal House scene referenced above). It was plastered on motorcycle helmets.

In recent years, folks have become more sensitive to the fact that black Americans find the flag offensive. So now, when the flag pops up in an old movie, it's jarring to our modified sensibilities.

Kepi
04-02-2001, 01:20 PM
According to the Neo-Maxi-Zoomdweebie (http://members.nbci.com/breakfstclub/) website, The Breakfast Club was filmed almost entirely at Maine North High School in Des Plaines, IL, which at the time had been closed for a few years. It's now a police station. Some exterior shots were filmed at John Hughes' alma mater Glenbrook North High School, which is located on Shermer Road in Northbrook, IL - hence Shermer High School.

Also from this site, the "library" was actually a set built inside the gymnasium of Maine North High. Of course, none of this answers the question as to why a Confederate flag appears in the movie. Instead, it only confirms that, since it was a set, the flag was indeed deliberately placed in the scene. The significance of the flag, however, remains elusive.

DarbyV
04-02-2001, 09:52 PM
John Hughes put alot of weird stuff in the back of his movies. There is a scene in "Sixteen Candles" where Jake and his buddy are doing what appears to be pull ups and talking about women and stuff and in the back is this huge guy wrestling with a very small guy. Cracks me up every time.

Jois
04-02-2001, 09:55 PM
My Uncle is in his mid-fifties, lives in Massachusetts, and is one of those people who observe and comment freely on life. He says that 15-20 years ago it would not have been all that odd to see a CSA battle flag on a MA car or truck - just someone saying, "I'm a rebel." A statement about one's self, just as Spoke- said, nothing more. He said the same might be seen in any New England state.

Jois

Jack Batty
04-03-2001, 10:02 AM
I believe Jois and spoke- have hit the nail on the head.

Not that I'm particularly proud of it, but back in the early eighties, I had a rebel flag in my dorm room, and this was in Maine. I had picked it up years before as a young teen in the south, and Dukes of Hazard was making it a popular thingie-ma-bob for us impressionable (drugged out), TV watchin' college students.

southernbelle65
11-13-2014, 09:31 PM
This shows the flag: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WJ-jC8lGAQ

Labrador Deceiver
11-13-2014, 09:40 PM
Contrary to what was said 13 years ago, that's definitely the old Georgia state flag. The blue field with the Georgia state seal is very visible.

Suburban Plankton
11-13-2014, 10:12 PM
Also, just before that you can see another state flag, right when he begins do do a cartwheel. I can't recall which one it is off-hand, but it would appear that the library is decorated with a number of state and US flags.

Idle Thoughts
11-14-2014, 12:48 AM
Zombie thread..off to CS.

BigT
11-14-2014, 07:11 AM
Contrary to what was said 13 years ago, that's definitely the old Georgia state flag. The blue field with the Georgia state seal is very visible.

Agreed. Here's a (slightly blurry) screenshot (http://s30.postimg.org/ibxkdsmf5/breakfast_club_georgia_flag.jpg). And here's the then current Georgia state flag (http://www.flag-works.com/images/Georgi7.jpg).

Superdude
11-14-2014, 08:33 AM
Since we've discussed "Animal House" in here, too, I feel it's okay to wonder why Gotham City (http://i496.photobucket.com/albums/rr323/digplague/gotham.jpg) is in Indiana (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/ac/Flag_of_Indiana.svg/2000px-Flag_of_Indiana.svg.png)

fiddlesticks
11-14-2014, 08:38 AM
That definitely looks like the Georgia flag, but not sure what the first flag in the scene, dark blue with a seal and stars might be. Lots of state flags have a seal on a blue field, but the stars don't appear to match any flags. Indiana might be the closest, but the stars are white, not gold/yellow. Then there is a plain yellow flag that can be partially seen along with the 13 stars in a circle US flag, could be New Mexico or New Jersey. And that 13 star flag appears to be a odd non-standard design too.

All in all, weird ass scene. Watching the scene on youtube it has the feel of a rerun of an old TV show that had a proper rock song replaced with generic rock music because of a music rights issue.

Horatio Hellpop
11-14-2014, 08:46 AM
Re: Animal House, Faber College was supposedly in Pennsylvania, at least in the book.

jtur88
11-14-2014, 08:54 AM
I remember, there was once a time when people could do as they pleased. If you wanted to put up a flag, you could put up, and you would not be surgically dissected to try to see what punishment is appropriate for putting it up.

Maybe that movie was made during those times.

SpoilerVirgin
11-14-2014, 12:03 PM
I remember, there was once a time when people could do as they pleased. If you wanted to put up a flag, you could put up, and you would not be surgically dissected to try to see what punishment is appropriate for putting it up.

Maybe that movie was made during those times.Actually, there was never a time when "people could do as they pleased." There have always been symbols that have been taboo, and punishments for the people who violated those taboos (some much more severe than the social condemnation used today).

There was, however, a time when it was O.K. to keep certain people as slaves, and later a time when it was O.K. to discriminate. In those times, symbols that we now consider to be offensive could be displayed. Those were not good times.

Johnny L.A.
11-14-2014, 12:10 PM
Ridgewood High School of Norridge, Illinois calls its sports teams the "Rebels"...

Perhaps John Hughes threw it into the background as an emblem of rebellion.

The movie was filmed 15 years ago, and you have to realize that attitudes about the Confederate flag have shifted a bit in that time. The Confederate flag was a pretty common sight in the 70's and into the 80's in a context that suggests that it was understood to stand for rebellion in general. Showed up in lots of decals. Look in the old decal ads from the 70's. You'll find the Confederate flag right there next to the "ecology flag" and the Jolly Roger. The flag got waved around at rock concerts. It showed up in movies (see that Animal House scene referenced above). It was plastered on motorcycle helmets.

In recent years, folks have become more sensitive to the fact that black Americans find the flag offensive. So now, when the flag pops up in an old movie, it's jarring to our modified sensibilities.

Having read the thread only up to Spoke's post, I agree with him.

My high school team were the Rebels. Our class rings depicted a mounted Confederate soldier charging with his sabre drawn. The year after I graduated, they switched to a cartoon Confederate; apparently because it was thought to be less offensive than a more realistic depiction.

BigT
11-14-2014, 12:37 PM
That definitely looks like the Georgia flag, but not sure what the first flag in the scene, dark blue with a seal and stars might be. Lots of state flags have a seal on a blue field, but the stars don't appear to match any flags. Indiana might be the closest, but the stars are white, not gold/yellow. Then there is a plain yellow flag that can be partially seen along with the 13 stars in a circle US flag, could be New Mexico or New Jersey. And that 13 star flag appears to be a odd non-standard design too.

All in all, weird ass scene. Watching the scene on youtube it has the feel of a rerun of an old TV show that had a proper rock song replaced with generic rock music because of a music rights issue.

I was hoping for a screenshot from the HD release, but the version I found that said it was HD really doesn't seem to have been.

If anyone has the Blu-ray, or is willing to get their hands on it (one way or another), we might be able to see those flags more clearly.

cochrane
11-14-2014, 12:47 PM
I remember, there was once a time when people could do as they pleased. If you wanted to put up a flag, you could put up, and you would not be surgically dissected to try to see what punishment is appropriate for putting it up.

Maybe that movie was made during those times.

"The Breakfast Club" was one of John Hughes' hit teen coming-of-age movies. That's what his flicks were all about. Finding yourself, having fun, trying not to fit people's expectations of you, and being individual. They often didn't reflect the actual world. None of the events from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" for example, would be everyday occurrences for most people. How many people have actually sung "Danke Schoen" in a parade or accidentally sent their father's Ferrari backing over a cliff? People often saw them because it made them nostalgic for their teen years and they wished they had done the things the characters in the movies dared to do. They saw a little bit of themselves in Hughes' characters.

JRDelirious
11-14-2014, 03:40 PM
I remember, there was once a time when people could do as they pleased. If you wanted to put up a flag, you could put up, and you would not be surgically dissected to try to see what punishment is appropriate for putting it up.

May you point to where anyone was looking for "punishment" when the thread first started? It's a perfectly valid question in the case of a film or stage play to ask if everything that appears on the set was placed there under deliberate director's/writer's/art designer's instructions to make a point.

And anyway you don't just put things up on the walls of the school library just for the sake of putting them up, without regard to context or educational value; not now, not in 2001, not in 1986, not in 1966.

People were speculating (kind of blindly in the 2001 absence of abundant online clips to check) on why would the CBF be displayed on the school library because back when the movie was made it already had become controversial to display it without a specific context in many places, and the OP and early commenters on the thread did not realize that the context was a prosaic "flags of the States" display and it was simply a then-current Georgia flag.

OTOH, I must say that seeing how the guy passes that flag twice in the scene, there was a second chance to notice it was NOT a plain CBF. This sort of reinforces the notion the states of the USA need some serious vexillological help, since hardly anyone recognizes their flags.
(Side point: Georgia of course was a particularly annoying case since the flag with the rebel saltire was adopted in 1956 as a nyah-nyah to the part of the country that was right about the issues of the time, when they already had a perfectly OK prior flag (http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/images/u/us-ga20.gif), and then in 2001 proceeded to first try to fix it with the Worst. State Flag. Ever. (http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/images/u/us-ga7.gif) before correcting to the current one, based on the pre-1956 one and on the actual stars-and-bars (http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/images/u/us-ga.gif).)

jtur88
11-15-2014, 03:16 PM
May you point to where anyone was looking for "punishment" when the thread first started? It's a perfectly valid question in the case of a film or stage play to ask if everything that appears on the set was placed there under deliberate director's/writer's/art designer's instructions to make a point.

And anyway you don't just put things up on the walls of the school library just for the sake of putting them up, without regard to context or educational value; not now, not in 2001, not in 1986, not in 1966.

People were speculating (kind of blindly in the 2001 absence of abundant online clips to check) on why would the CBF be displayed on the school library because back when the movie was made it already had become controversial to display it without a specific context in many places, and the OP and early commenters on the thread did not realize that the context was a prosaic "flags of the States" display and it was simply a then-current Georgia flag.

OTOH, I must say that seeing how the guy passes that flag twice in the scene, there was a second chance to notice it was NOT a plain CBF. This sort of reinforces the notion the states of the USA need some serious vexillological help, since hardly anyone recognizes their flags. )

Nothing I said implied that the director made a specific point to seek out the flag and use it. Rather, he would have simply assembled a collection of the kinds of things that would ordinarily been a part of the scenery. For all I know, the film was just shot in an existing school room, with everything left in place. At a time when there was a great deal more tolerance than there is now, for that which may be considered politically sensitive. As for my"punishment" reference, any student who put up such a flag today would almost certainly be suspended or even expelled from the school.

Uncle Jocko
11-15-2014, 03:25 PM
A student putting up the Georgia state flag would be suspended or expelled? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

(Now crazy pills would get you suspended or expelled ...)

BigT
11-16-2014, 10:23 AM
in 2001 proceeded to first try to fix it with the Worst. State Flag. Ever. (http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/images/u/us-ga7.gif) before correcting to the current one

To be fair, they have plenty of company (http://blog.cvsflags.com/flag-fun/similar-looking-state-flags). And I don't think that's all of the blue-bedsheet flags (http://www.nava.org/flag-design/survey/state-provincial-survey-2001) (see third paragraph.) Georgia made it worse with the added flags at the bottom, but it hardly stood out.

Just look through the U.S. state flag Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flags_of_the_U.S._states) to see all the seals-on-bedsheet flags. I counted over 20.

LC Strawhouse
11-16-2014, 10:42 AM
I remember, there was once a time when people could do as they pleased. If you wanted to put up a flag, you could put up, and you would not be surgically dissected to try to see what punishment is appropriate for putting it up.

Maybe that movie was made during those times.

Actually, when the movie was made in 1985, stuff like this was ignored simply because everyone was so completely focused on the nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union instead.

JRDelirious
11-17-2014, 08:23 PM
BigT, having been a voter in that 2001 NAVA survey (http://www.nava.org/flag-design/survey/state-provincial-survey-2001) I've got a bit of a vested interest (woohoo, we're #7! we're #7! we're #7! :p and my onetime adopted state is doing even better at #4 ;) ). Notice GA2001 was voted to the bottom of the entire pile, it just contained too many vexillological errors in one same place; though I must say, the ones that spell out the state name in big bold letters are IMO the ultimate embrace of fail.


Nothing I said implied that the director made a specific point to seek out the flag and use it.
Now, now: it was the long- ago OP who asked the question:
"Just what the heck is the stars and bars doing in a Chicago suburban high school and is there any significance to it?"

Since the film was a scripted, directed work, it was a legitimate question, though it arose from a misconception. The OP was asking, is there a reason this school would normally display it, and/or is it there because of a point being made.

The answer, of course, there is and a very humdrum reason at that: that it's part of a display of state and historic flags in a library (and it WAS a re-created set, they shot in a school that had been closed 3 years earlier); in your words, "a collection of the kinds of things that would ordinarily been a part of the scenery". OP's question objectively answered.

However, in the OP's question: "...what the heck is the stars and bars doing in a Chicago suburban high school...? we can see that he has misconstrued both what the object was and, more importantly, what would be the appropriate circumstances for its exhibition. OP came across as unaware that representations of the Confederate Battle Flags have always been legitimate items to display in an history-education context in any school library in the 50 states, not just the South.


HOWEVER regardless of times, you could not "just put up a flag if you wanted" on the school walls. You've always had to have the approval or at least forebearance of the school administration.
As for my"punishment" reference, any student who put up such a flag today would almost certainly be suspended or even expelled from the school. Except that in the context discussed it is not something that was put up by the student character, but very obviously something that was being exhibited by the library, so that should not even be in question.

JpnDude
11-17-2014, 09:06 PM
Agreed. Here's a (slightly blurry) screenshot (http://s30.postimg.org/ibxkdsmf5/breakfast_club_georgia_flag.jpg). And here's the then current Georgia state flag (http://www.flag-works.com/images/Georgi7.jpg).
Thanks for the screen grab. The flag closest to the camera on the right side looks like Virginia's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia#mediaviewer/File:Flag_of_Virginia.svg).

PatrickPage
10-12-2016, 02:45 PM
I did not see the Confederate Battle flag, what I saw was a library with the American flag, the Betsy Ross flag and what looked like many state flags which all seemed to be the 13 original states. All these flags, can be viewed at Flag-Works state flag page (http://www.flag-works.com/state_flags.htm) In the smoking scene with Emilio Estevez I saw Rhode island, Tennessee, and Virginia. I'm sure there are others

Casey1505
10-12-2016, 03:42 PM
Better picture (http://i.imgur.com/uX8hmMA.jpg). Definitely the GA state flag that was in use from 1956-2001. Completely accurate for a movie set in 1985. As noted above, the flag in the foreground is VA.

Amateur Barbarian
10-12-2016, 03:45 PM
On the other hand, the director may have added it to the background for reasons which may defy logic.
As in, had Rennie Harlin made the film, it would have been a Finnish flag...

Little Nemo
10-12-2016, 04:35 PM
I remember, there was once a time when people could do as they pleased. If you wanted to put up a flag, you could put up, and you would not be surgically dissected to try to see what punishment is appropriate for putting it up.There was never a time when people could do as they pleased. What there was was a time when white people could do what they pleased and black people were warned not to complain about it.

Nowadays, black people are allowed to be offended so white people have to consider the feelings of black people. Black people see this as an improvement. Most white people see this as an improvement. But some white people miss the good old days when they didn't have to care about what black people thought.

kaylasdad99
10-12-2016, 06:39 PM
There was never a time when people could do as they pleased. What there was was a time when white people could do what they pleased and black people were warned not to complain about it.

Nowadays, black people are allowed to be offended so white people have to consider the feelings of black people. Black people see this as an improvement. Most white people see this as an improvement. But some white people miss the good old days when they didn't have to care about what black people thought.

Well done. You sure told two-years-ago jtur88* what's what...



*N.B. I don't claim to know whether or not 2016 jtur88 holds the same opinions as two-years-ago jtur88.

astorian
10-14-2016, 04:09 PM
Better picture (http://i.imgur.com/uX8hmMA.jpg). Definitely the GA state flag that was in use from 1956-2001. Completely accurate for a movie set in 1985. As noted above, the flag in the foreground is VA.

Coincidentally, when Clarence Thomas was nominated for the Supreme Court, he was charged by some with having a Confederate flag in his office. It was, in fact, a Georgia state flag, representing his home state.

Once Anita Hill came along, that issue died off quickly.

bengangmo
10-15-2016, 04:55 AM
According to the Neo-Maxi-Zoomdweebie (http://members.nbci.com/breakfstclub/) website, The Breakfast Club was filmed almost entirely at Maine North High School in Des Plaines, IL, which at the time had been closed for a few years. It's now a police station. Some exterior shots were filmed at John Hughes' alma mater Glenbrook North High School, which is located on Shermer Road in Northbrook, IL - hence Shermer High School.

Also from this site, the "library" was actually a set built inside the gymnasium of Maine North High. Of course, none of this answers the question as to why a Confederate flag appears in the movie. Instead, it only confirms that, since it was a set, the flag was indeed deliberately placed in the scene. The significance of the flag, however, remains elusive.

Do we know that the flag has any significance at all? Could it be that the script called for "3 flags" and this was the first one to be found?

JRDelirious
10-15-2016, 07:42 AM
Do we know that the flag has any significance at all? Could it be that the script called for "3 flags" and this was the first one to be found?


Actually, answered years ago, if you read the whole of the thread.

Mahaloth
10-15-2016, 11:20 AM
Now, do you all remember the alternative ending where the adults become kids and enter the classroom to sit next to our main characters? That was weird. Only on VHS in New Zealand, though.