When I was a kid one of the great yearly events was the trip from my hometown of Yukon, Oklahoma to Six Flags Over Texas. The morning would start at 6:00 A.M. as 50 blurry-eyed teenagers from our church youth group stumbled up the steps into the motor coach. By the time we arrived at the park in Arlington, Texas everyone was rejuvenated after napping on the 4 hour ride to the park.
The intensity of entering the gates and having to make the decision to go left or right was exhilarating. No sensible person would go to the Mexico section and get on the Sombrero. That ride never had a big line and was really more for little children. Should I head to the back of the park and hit the popular rides first or wait until late in the day? Which lines moved slow or fast? The Runaway Mine Train always had a fairly long line, but it moved people quickly. I don’t remember every violent twist and jerk of that ride, but you always new the big drop was coming when you heard the piano music in that dusty saloon. Other rides needed to be delayed until the heat of the day like La Salles’ River Adventure, where you floated down a river imagining yourself as an explorer in the new world.
Oh the fun of amusement park tactics. Amusement parks definitely involve a strategy of ride management. But alas, as a child I could not understand the true oppression of this park which latter became a national chain of amusement parks. I cannot believe that I didn’t see it until now. Sitting right in front of me was this vast politically incorrect institution that sucked us in, with promises of fun and frivolity, when its true agenda was to subtly indoctrinate us with a multitude of offensive symbols, history, and political agendas. The bigotry of the Six Flags Amusement Parks must not stand.
The first and most obvious offense is the flags themselves. The flags represent the six flags that have flown over the area currently called the State of Texas. The first Flag is the Flag of Spain. The Spanish stand rightly accused of genocide of the indigenous cultures of Central and South America. These gold loving conquistadores not only cruelly destroyed the Aztecs, Mayans, an Incans, by force, but more effectively introduced diseases that these cultures had no defense against. Nothing especially complimentary can be said about the Spanish’s activities in the New World except they were effective at conquering the locals. Six Flags Management: TAKE DOWN THAT FLAG!
The Second Flag is the flag of Colonial France. This flag stands for the oppression of the poor and war. The Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, when told that the people had no bread suggested they eat cake. While the queen never uttered this phrase, the sentiment of a privileged, out of touch royalty was accurate. King Louis the 16th, her husband, ruled so ineffectively and cruelly that a revolution of head chopping began that eventually ended with Napoleon Bonaparte declaring himself emperor. War raged across Europe for years once the little man got his army organized. Six Flags Management: TAKE DOWN THAT FLAG!
The third Flag is the Flag of Mexico. While there is not doubt that some tyrants have ruled Mexico, like General Santa Anna, the guy who killed Davy Crockett at the Alamo. The primary objections to the Mexican Flag are not its history but its current practices. It sends us illicit drugs and illegal aliens. Of course we want the drugs, and we use the illegal aliens to do those jobs that are beneath Americans, so that really isn’t a tremendous indictment of Mexico. Besides, most of us love Mexican Food. Six Flags Management: YOU CAN FLY THAT FLAG!
The fourth flag is the flag of Texas. Some people are confused that this flag stands for the freedom of citizens to determine their own future as it was raised after the Texans had won their independence from Mexico. But this would not be correct. The real tragedy here is that Texas was stolen from Mexico and was thus an act of conquest. The case for removal of the Texas Flag becomes a slam-dunk since Texas eventually fought for the South in the Civil war and thus accrued all the baggage of the Confederate Flag. Six Flags Management: TAKE DOWN THAT FLAG!
The offensiveness of the fifth flag, the Flag of the Confederacy, hardly needs to be mentioned, as its endorsement of racial bigotry is so obvious. This flag stands for slavery, anti-black animus, white supremacy, and the Ku Klux Klan, even if those rednecks that continue to waive it about, don’t know. Six Flags Management: TAKE DOWN THAT FLAG!
The Sixth Flag is the Flag of the United States. While many of the same charges leveled at the others flags, could in some degree also apply to Ole Glory, what are you gonna do, get rid of it? That’s not very practical and we have done some good things for the world: We defeated the Nazis and Communists; created the Big Mac; and don’t forget George Clooney. Six Flags Management: YOU CAN FLY THAT FLAG, but only if it is done unenthusiastically, with a sufficient degree of self-loathing.
So there it is. I know Two Flags over Texas or America doesn’t have the same zip as Six, but offensive history, symbols, and images must be purged if we are going to perfect this experiment called America. Thank God we don’t have any other really pressing issues confronting us.
Finally, on a personal note, while I was clueless as a teenager to the political incorrectness of the Six Flags themes, the same cannot be said for my role as a parent in this injustice. For as the picture above demonstrates, my callousness in posing as a Southerner in this staged photo taken at the amusement park is unforgivable on multiple levels.
I wrongly indoctrinated my children into believing that being Southern was a legitimate part of American history. I glorified the warlike sensibilities of the South and all it stood for. I minimized my wife’s role by suggesting that women shouldn’t worry their pretty little heads about issues of war and peace. Wear your fluffy, girly clothes, leave the big issues to the men, and remain on that pedestal. I took the joy out of my sons childhood years. Do you see anyone smiling in that picture? I reinforced the gun culture so deplorably apparent in American History. Worst of all, I demonstrated this high degree of callousness while having a fun day at an amusement park with my family. So I apologize to all the aggrieved.
The only uncertainty that remains to this day about the politically incorrect Six Flags Amusement Park is how did the ride “The Cave of the Spelunkers” relate to the theme of the park? I am sure there is something objectionable about the ride. But I guess my aggrievement radar isn’t sensitive enough to discern the insult. Who did these creatures represent? Was the ride in the Spanish sector or the Texas area? Where did that strange melodic music come from and those strange surrealistic settings? Was it really there? I am not sure, but I do know it just didn’t seem to fit in. That’s it! It didn’t fit in! It was the one ride that didn’t represent the oppression of the park. It was the one ride where money, fame, looks, or pedigree didn’t matter because we all look special in the glow of black lights. Or maybe, just maybe, it was a nice way to beat the oppressive and humid, Texas summer heat.