The flag originally appeared in "Chef Goes Nanners", where it was being protested for being racist. This caused a somewhat deep divide in the town's populace, with one side saying the flag should be kept the way it is because of "tradition" and the other saying it should be changed because it is racist. Later, at South Park Elementary, a debate over whether the flag should be changed is being organized. Wendy Testaburger and Eric Cartman are leading the "flag should be changed" side while Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, and Kenny McCormick are leading the "flag should not be changed" side. In order to offset responsibility from herself, Mayor McDaniels says that the debate will officially decide whether the flag is changed or not. After a speech by Wendy, the town comes to an agreement that the flag should be changed, although the initial hostility between both sides cools when Kyle's opening argument reveals that he and Stan never perceived the flag issue as one of racism as they never thought about the fact that a black man was being hanged and had constructed an argument based on the idea that the issue was capital punishment.
The original South Park flag depicted four white figures hanging a black figure on a dark yellow background. After the flag was changed, it depicted a white, yellow, brownish red, and black figure hanging another black figure.