This black American flag has a disturbing message and has been popping up across the U.S.

America is divided over a lot of political issues these days and it's playing out on people's lawns and flagpoles. Americans used to stay away from signaling their political beliefs from their homes unless it was a lawn sign near Election Day, but that's changed a lot over the past five years.

In progressive neighborhoods, you'll often see people with "We Believe" signs on their yards that show the homeowner supports liberal values such as equality, gay rights and Black Lives Matter. You'll also see the occasional Pride flag to support LGBTQ rights.

In more conservative neighborhoods, you'll find a wide variety of massive flags flying from people's homes.


There is the Thin Blue Line flag.

These flags support police officers and started popping up after the rash of police shootings of unarmed Black people a few years back. On the one hand, they support law enforcement, but they also appear to be part of the backlash against the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Thin Blue Line flag.via Wikimedia Commons


There are also the thin blue, red and green line flags. These support cops, firefighters and the military all at the same time. Now, the funny thing is that the more colors people add to these flags, the closer they resemble LGBT Pride flags. Soon, we're bound to come full circle.


The thin red, blue, and green line flag.via Amazon


Getting closer by the day.


LGBTQ flag. via Wikimedia Commons


There are also the big-ass Trump flags that either say, "Trump 2020," "Trump 2024" or "Trump Won."


"Trump Won" flag.via Amazon


The Gadsden Flag or the "Don't Tread on Me" flag either means you're a Libertarian or a Republican who likes guns even more than the average Republican.


The Gadsden flag.via Wikimedia Commons


Some Libertarians are moving away from the "Don't Tread on Me" flag for the more inclusive, peace-loving "Don't Tread on Anyone" flag. Because a true Libertarian believes in everyone's personal freedom.


Don't Tread on Anyone flag.via Proud Libertarain


There's a new trend in conservative flags that should cause some alarm, and that's the black flag. The black flag has been a symbol of anarchists throughout history but, in America, it has been a call to violence. During the Civil War, it was flown by Confederates to convey the opposite meaning of the white flag, which means surrender.

According to The Sun, Confederates would fly the black flag to communicate that "the unit would not give in nor surrender and that enemy combatants would be killed."

That's not a very kind message to send to one's neighbors. Who wants to live next-door to anyone who proudly professes they are on the brink of murder? Why would anyone in a quiet suburban neighborhood need to tell anyone their back is against the wall and they can't take it anymore?

What is happening in these neighborhoods or in America right now that has pushed them over the edge?

Is it the infrastructure bill? The tax cut for parents? The drop in the unemployment rate?

There are a lot of scary videos on TikTok of people hoisting the black flag to show that they're ready to pop off at any minute and will take "no quarter."


@seahawkscita

#proudamerican #conservative #blackflag #blackflagnation

This guy in a quiet suburban nieghborhood is "not giving in" anymore.


@conservative_aims88

#noquartergiven #blackflag

This guy says America has gone "downhill" and to combat this, he's showing his neighbors he's ready to resort to violence.


@kirbyo34

#blackflag #patriot #noquartergiven #USA #America #flag #americahasgonedownhill


This guy put out a cute little garden black flag to show he takes no prisoners.


@cechelstout

#blackflag #neversurrender #2Am #2amendment #willnotcomply #patriots #patriotsrising #wewillnotbesilenced #2arights #blackamericanflag #goviral #fypシ

Throwing up a huge black flag on your home doesn't make you look tough, it shows that you have become irrationally afraid of people with different political beliefs and are on the brink of losing control. Your flag isn't alerting your neighbors to the country's impending doom, it's actually a big red flag that shows you no longer believe in the spirit of American pluralism and feel the strange need to show everyone on the block.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

This article originally appeared on 11.21.16


Photographer Katie Joy Crawford had been battling anxiety for 10 years when she decided to face it straight on by turning the camera lens on herself.

In 2015, Upworthy shared Crawford's self-portraits and our readers responded with tons of empathy. One person said, "What a wonderful way to express what words cannot." Another reader added, "I think she hit the nail right on the head. It's like a constant battle with yourself. I often feel my emotions battling each other."

So we wanted to go back and talk to the photographer directly about this soul-baring project.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."