True story of the nation's worst sexual predator
HOW IT RATES
THE FLAG WAVERS A synopsis of a screenplay by Bill Osinski This is the story of Raymond Harper, a black Ferris Bueller who hijacks the Rebel flag at a high-school homecoming game and turns a small Southern town upside down. After Raymond witnesses the senseless shooting of a friend, his widowed mother Naomi decides it's time for them to move from Cleveland to her hometown of Oppaloosa, Alabama. But they have arrived right at the boiling point of a local controversy over the school's Rebel nickname and use of the Confederate battle flag. People expect trouble at the homecoming football game. It's only a few days before a boycott deadline imposed by the local NAACP chapter, headed by Naomi's older brother, who can’t quite accept victory in his years of Civil Rights battles. Raymond, amused by a dispute he considers silly compared to what he has seen and survived, gives them the last thing they were looking for. He grabs the school's huge Stars and Bars flag, and runs onto the field with it just before kickoff. He then takes the microphone from the dumbstruck homecoming queen and tells the hyperventilating crowd that blacks have as much equity in the south as whites: "Way down south in the land of cotton...and just who do you think was pickin' most of that cotton? In the immediate aftermath, Raymond becomes both a media-made star and a crossover hit. Both the boycott boosters and the Save Our Flag crowd see him as their hero. He is toasted -- from widely different viewpoints -- at AME churches, Rotary clubs, and on television talk shows. The boycott gets postponed. However, the notoriety places Raymond back on the radar screen of Bodybag, the vocabulary-conscious thug responsible for the shooting that drove Raymond and his mother to head South. On separate and secret tracks, Naomi and Raymond develop relationships with the white high school principal David Pearsall and David's daughter Nina, respectively. Raymond takes Nina to a black nightclub. David and Naomi slip away to dinner in the next county. Ultimately, there is an accidental and all-around embarrassing convergence at the Pearsalls' beach house. As the Harpers and the Pearsalls retreat in disarray back toward their old lives, Raymond is coming under increasing pressure from both sides. At this juncture, Bodybag shows up in Oppaloosa. As the boycott deadline approaches, both sides of the flag flap demand that Raymond declare himself publicly. And Bodybag is out to eliminate potential witnesses. Not to worry. Raymond has a plan. At the local juke joint, he meets Bodybag, who insists on a life-or-death game of Scrabble; but Raymond keeps the match going just long enough for Bodybag to get caught in a drug raid that Raymond knew was coming. The next day, he addresses the students at an assembly and shows them how to find their own way out of the impasse. Raymond cuts some strips out of the stage curtains and covers the white bars on the Rebel flag with a black "X". Then, waving a flag that they can all march under, he cheerfully and disarmingly leads the students out through the two groups of massed protesters.