Original airdate: July 5, 2000
The South Park flag becomes a hot issue when Chef takes offense of its apparently racist imagery, while Jimbo defends it as history. The fourth grade class takes it up for debate club, and the town decides to use this to springboard a vote. With Cartman and Wendy on the offense, romantic feelings spark between the two.
This episode contains examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: Stan, Kyle, Gerald and the other kids all laugh when Kenny explodes from drinking water after eating antacid pills.Stan: That was a good one!
- An Aesop:
- Using extreme methods to combat bigotry can easily result in a person becoming a bigot themselves.
- While preserving history is important, some aspects of it are not worth saving and must be changed so society can continue to improve.
- Analogy Backfire: Jimbo fails to exemplify the situation better to Chef:Jimbo: Chef, what about the baseball team, the Cleveland Indians, huh? Should they change their name because it's racist?
Jimbo: No, because it's their history!
- Armor-Piercing Response: After Chef explains to Kyle's team why the flag is controversial:Kyle: We didn't really see it that way.
Chef: But that's a black man up there!
Kyle: Yeah but, the color of someone's skin doesn't matter.
- Both Sides Have a Point: The main reason the town can't decide whether to keep the flag or not. They feel that the flag is racist, but that they also shouldn't whitewash history.
- This is exemplified through a series of interviews where people waffle on the issue in this way, culminating in...Man: I think the flag is racist. (Beat) I think the flag is history.
- This is exemplified through a series of interviews where people waffle on the issue in this way, culminating in...
- Children Are Innocent: Stan and Kyle's team just saw the South Park flag as a man being hanged, without even thinking about how the hanged man is black and surrounded by a cheering white crowd. Their lack of understanding of racism led them to think that the controversial issue at hand was capital punishment.
- Commonality Connection: Wendy and Cartman, of all people, end up bonding over similar debate ideas and making double-stuffed Oreos into quadruple-stuffed Oreos.
- Dumbass Has a Point: When Chef complains about him not doing anything about the KKK rally, Officer Barbrady tells Chef that while the town doesn't agree with the organization's views, they have the right to free speech and he can't arrest them for talking.
- Exact Words: Chef brings up a story about a monk who, in protest, set himself on fire. He then says he will do the same thing. He proceeds to hold up a lighter and a gasoline tank triumphantly... and then sets a monk sitting next to him on fire.
- Flipping the Bird: Kenny to Kyle after being told he can't eat mints (really antacid tablets) for dinner.
- Funny Background Event:
- While Chef is ranting at Stan and Kyle, the person who is holding the extension to Chef's new name tries to keep up with Chef.
- After Wendy kisses Cartman, Stan does a Jaw Drop and stays that way for the rest of the scene, including when Chef and Jimbo reconcile.
- Harmless Villain: The KKK are rightfully hated by the citizens of South Park but as far as villainy goes, they pretty much do nothing beyond chanting "White Power".
- He Who Fights Monsters: Chef ultimately becomes a racist trying to fight racism himself. Thankfully, he realizes this after Kyle tells him so and admits to Stan and Kyle that he misjudged them.
- Hitler Ate Sugar: Jimbo and Ned disguise themselves as Klansmen and infiltrate the Klan to convince them to switch sides, because they know nobody in their right mind would want to be on the same side as the Klan. In fact, that's exactly what they tell the Klan.Jimbo: Look, we have to accept the fact that most people in the world hate us, right?
[murmurs of agreement]
Jimbo: So whatever side we're on is the side that's gonna lose, right?
[more murmurs of agreement]
Jimbo: So why don't we all say that we want the flag changed? That way, most folks will vote to keep it the way it is!
Klan Leader: That's a great idea, brother!
Klan Leader: All right, it is decided! We will officially tell everyone that we want the flag changed, so that they will all vote against us!
- I Ate WHAT?!: Kenny eats a bowl of antacids thinking it was mints, then drinks water and explodes.
- Jaw Drop: Stan after watching Wendy kiss Cartman in front of everyone at the debate.
- Kick the Dog: Everyone laughing after Kenny dies.
- Mistaken for Racist:
- Jimbo and Ned for wanting to keep the flag the way it is, regardless of the reason they give. Chef catching them wearing Klan robes after their infiltration mission didn't help their case.
- Stan and Kyle for not seeing what the problem with the original flag is. It turns out that they are so not racist that they didn't even register that the flag depicted four white men hanging a black man until it was specifically pointed out to them, they just saw four men hanging another man.
- "Not So Different" Remark: After Jimbo and Ned infiltrate the KKK meeting and see for themselves how loony the Klan is, the two start wondering if they're any less crazy for being fellow supporters of the South Park flag.
- Not What It Looks Like: Jimbo insists this to Chef when he catches them dressed like KKK members.
- Overly Long Name: Chef changes his name to Abdul Mohammed Jabar Rauf Kareem Ali partway through. It's so long it doesn't completely fit on his apron and he has to have an assistant hold up a sign with the rest of his name on it.
- "Pop!" Goes the Human: Kenny explodes after eating a bowl full of antacid tablets and drinking some water.
- Ship Sinking: Wendy kisses Cartman at the end of the episode to resolve the sexual tension, and Cartman seems disappointed that she no longer has feelings for him.
- Straw Character: The third-grader's previous debates are listed as Pro-Choice Vs. Cartman, Pro-Gun Control Vs. Cartman, and People Against Killing Baby Seals Vs. Cartman. As it turns out, Cartman won all of these debates (though primarily by quitting and storming out so the debate couldn't further).
- Take a Third Option: Instead of getting rid of the flag or keeping it as is, the town changes the flag so the black man is now being hung by people of all races (including another black man). Chef is happy because it removes the racism while Jimbo is pleased that the flag retains its historical roots.
- They Killed Kenny Again: Kenny mistakes a bowl of antacid tablets for mints and drinks water. The pressure caused by the fizz makes him explode.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Bebe flat out tells Wendy that she has this with Cartman, and Wendy resolves it in the end by kissing him.
- Villains Out Shopping: Most of the KKK's meeting consists of them doing harmless activities, such as holding a cake raffle and playing "Who's Got the Silliest Thing On Under Their Robe?".
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Jimbo's reaction when the KKK comes out in force on his side, leading to the Hitler Ate Sugar solution to his problem.