It's that time of year when everyone's Facebook feed is cluttered with prom photos -- but there's one image that's standing out from the rest for all the wrong reasons.
The picture circulating on social media shows eight students from Chaparral High School in Parker, Colorado posing for their prom photo with a large Confederate flag. Two girls are holding guns, while several others use their fingers to mimic a gun.
One of the girls in the image, who has not been identified, has apologized.
“It’s hard to say sorry when that’s the only thing that can come out of my mouth right now,” the student told Fox 31 Denver. “I feel like there should be a better word for it.”
The mother of one of the boys in the photo said she was shocked by the image, and told the station that it wasn't her son's idea.
“When he got out there he was surprised that guns were brought out and the Confederate flag was brought out,” the parent, who was not identified, told the station.
She blamed other parents, who were encouraging the kids and taking the photos with the flag at the prom, which was held on Saturday in Denver.
“I think in their immaturity they kind of think it is a cowboy thing, but to have parents feed into it and support it is really upsetting to me,” she said.
The flag was never the official flag of the Confederacy during the Civil War, although its design was incorporated into several of the flags that were used. It was also used as a battle flag, and today is part of the state flag of Mississippi. But while supporters say it represents "southern pride," others believe it is a symbol of racism, and variations of the flag are often used by white supremacy organizations.
“The image is pretty disturbing, especially if they have real assault rifles in their hands," University of Colorado-Boulder ethnic studies professor Arturo Aldama told Fox 31 Denver. "Not to mention, the Confederate flag and its legacy of white supremacy, Klan violence and the Jim Crow South.”
(h/t Raw Story)