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Childhood vaccinations—and those who oppose them—have been back in the news following a measles outbreak in the Northwest and cases in other parts of the country, including Arkansas and Texas.

All states allow vaccination exemptions based on valid medical concerns. But both Texas and Arkansas are among states that allow parents to opt-out of vaccinating their children for religious or "philosophical" reasons.

Critics say such exemptions are a danger to the public health and say they should be repealed.

We want to know what you think. Should religious and/or philosophical exemptions be eliminated? Or should states allow parents to opt-out of vaccinating their children on those grounds?

Send your response (50 words maximum) to by Wednesday, March 20. You can also mail your response to the Texarkana Gazette Friday Poll, at P.O. Box 621, Texarkana, TX 75504 or drop it off at our office, 101 E. Broad St., Texarkana, Ark. Be sure to include your name, address and phone number. We will print as many responses as we can in next Friday's paper.


Last Week: Star's Meaning?

Last week's question was about changing the star on the Arkansas flag from honoring the Confederacy to honoring the Native American tribes that once lived here. Should the meaning of the lone star in the Arkansas flag be changed? Or are you opposed to the idea?


Totally and unequivocally opposed to any change in Arkansas flag. Am supremely proud of my Confederate ancestors. They should be honored for their devotion to home, family and country. No more revisionism and rewriting of history.—J.S., Doddridge, Ark.


I would support the legal change to honor the Native Americans of Arkansas—J.W.W., Texarkana, Ark.


No, the state of Arkansas should not change anything on their Flag. One reason is: Very few people know what the blue star represents. I know I didn't. Its one of those things that certain people want to complain about. Most of us are tired of all the movements.—B.J., Texarkana, Texas


Forcing any race into physical slavery is evil. Worse, are modern masters enslaving the minds/souls of the nave, not to be used to assure past evils never arise again, but to destroy any historical, and present influence that hinders their efforts to transform America into their corrupt "progressive" vision. A star, statues now, the U.S. flag to come.—D.H.M., Texarkana, Ark.


Keep the star in the flag which represents the Confederacy. Arkansas and the Confederate government were defending the original concept in the formation of these United States. This was to be a federal republic, not a consolidated democracy.—H.W., Texarkana, Texas



  •  People are offended by everything these days. Be offended or not, you can't re-write history and you shouldn't even try. Just fly a flag with, "how may I offend you" on it and be done with it.
  •  I wholeheartedly support the removal or "re-designation"of the star in the Arkansas state flag so that our state flag can no longer be associated with the oppression of a "confederate" insurgency and their racist political views. It is time to cut the cord and remove all celebratory symbols of the "Confederate abomination" from our governments (local, state, federal) and replace their grotesquerie with art, images, and messages celebrating the beauty of all humanity.
  •  It's called progress and small minded conservatives are standing in the way of it.It's time to turn over a new leaf in this country.
  •  I could care less either way, but the confederacy was a 4-year failed government how does it represent anyone's history?
  •  It's a part of the history of this state. Whether it's a popular part or not, it's still a part of it. You can't change the past just because you don't like it. That just leads to an uneducated future.
  •  It's a star. It didn't hurt anyone in the Civil War. Stop being triggered and respect your history.
  •  Dems new platform: Hate the founding fathers, hate the Constitution, hate guns, hate conservatives, hate Jews, hate Reagan and Trump, love Sharia, illegals, green new deal and socialism!
  •  Nope and yep.
  •  Leave it alone. It isn't going to make history go away.
  •  What is up with all the Dems wanting to change everything. Why can't they just try to do good.
  •  Why? Seriously, what is wrong with ya'll, Changing the flag changes nothing but the flag. It does not alter history, but it may change your future.
  •  Yes. Change it.
  •  No, leave it alone. It is our flag and our heritage.
  •  No! Leave it!
  •  Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it. You can't change history by trying to erase it. You only allow ignorance to spread.
  •  Actually the history of Arkansas is the same as Portugal. France Spain and Rome. The battle between the Native Americans and the Europeans is the same as the serpent that was raised by Moses. It is the spiritual heavenly and the earthly resurrection the natural state of being becoming the spiritual being from the first Adam to the second Adam.
  •  Read the history of St Augustine in Florida, the history of the Apache and Albert Pike in Hot Springs, the search and battle for the Holy Land and men everywhere choosing to overcome evil with good. This is the entire history of all the earth and becoming alive in Christ Jesus where there is no more battle war and bloodshed over land but all become one under our sovereign God the Holy One of Israel, our heavenly father.
  •  Get rid of that crap! Erase hate. Move forward
  •  For those of you who (think) they understand the war between the the states and believe it was over slavery. (They) really need to educate themselves on the real history of the war. It was actually the same reason we fought the British to become a country. Taxes was the reason. Lincoln brought the emancipation only to save his presidency because the northern states had enough of the war and wanted him gone.
  •  That star hasn't harmed one hair on anyone's head. I'm so sick of the offense of everyone. It's disgusting that we have lived all these years with nobody offended and in the past 10 years, everyone is offended if the wind blows the wrong direction. Get a life and move on.
  •  Leave it like it is!
  •  Trying to ignore the past does not change history and how are you supposed to learn from your mistakes if you refuse to look at them.
  •  Leave our flag alone.
  • n It's the past! Remove it! Why is it a problem to not be stuck or reminded of the past forever? Let's look towards the future! Dems this, and Dems that! All you perfect Republicans just think everything should go your way or no way! Sure I'm wrong for saying that though. Agree to disagree, and still remove it.
  •  Glad we don't have anything more important to try to change
  •  People need to understand. You can remove all the stars and statues in the world but you cannot change history. Pure and simple. It happened, quit living in the past. Leave everything alone.
  •  Leave flag alone, can't believe the governor is going along with this, people had better open their eyes this just a start.
  •  Change it, and go ahead and get rid of those stars and bars while you're at it.
  •  Leave it like it is.
  •  Leave the Arkansas flag alone, it is part of history.
  •  All these people afraid of change. Like its been altered before, colors even changed. No need to get bent out of shape.
  •  Just leave it alone and quit trying to erase history.
  •  Leave it, this design is the only one we have had, it needs to stand!
  •  We need to learn from history not just wipe it out like it never happened We keep wiping it out we may end up repeating it!
  •  Add a symbol for Native Americans, if you want. Acknowledge more of our history. Can't erase history.