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School Official Tells Student He Can’t Fly U.S. Flag on His Truck School Official Tells Student He Can’t Fly U.S. Flag on His Truck peyton flag hero 620x330

School Official Tells Student He Can’t Fly U.S. Flag on His Truck

peytonrobinson School Official Tells Student He Can’t Fly U.S. Flag on His Truck School Official Tells Student He Can’t Fly U.S. Flag on His Truck peytonrobinson A school in South Carolina has come under fire for ordering a student to remove a US flag from his truck because it could “possibly” be offensive to some people. [11] Peyton Robinson said he got the bad news from a school administrator Wednesday morning.  The 18-year-old senior at York Comprehensive High School was told he wasn’t allowed to fly his American flag and POW-MIA flag in the bed of his pickup truck.   “He said, ‘We’re having some issues. Some people were complaining about the flags in your truck,’” Robinson told WBTV-TV. [2] He said the administrator said the flags could “possibly” be offensive, and told Robinson to take them down before coming back to the South Carolina school Thursday.  [2] But apparently, Robinson didn’t have to lift a finger. [1]  He told WBTV that at some point Wednesday, a school official unscrewed the bolts securing the flags to his truck and laid them in the bed “when I wasn’t even there.” [2] [11]  That administrator called him outside and by the time he got to his truck, the flags were already down.  “It just kind of upset me and aggravated me,” Robinson said. [4] By the end of the school day, officials announced that flags such as Robinson’s are safety concerns. Superintendent Vernon Prosser told WSOC-TV the fear is that they could block the view of other drivers and cause a wreck.  [1] [3] The senior — who has relatives who served in the military — was upset. ”I was pretty mad,” he told WBTV. [2] “I don’t see how it’s a problem. Nobody has ever complained about it before.”  “I’d understand if it was the Confederate flag or something that might offend somebody,” he added. “I wouldn’t do that. But an American flag — that’s our country’s flag. I have every right to do it. I don’t see a safety issue. I mean, I understand it’s a big flag — it’s 4 by 6 — but nobody has ever complained about it being in their way or anything.” [1] [2] The state Highway Patrol told WSOC the York students’ flags are legal. Robinson’s dad told WSOC he’s proud of his son and that he encouraged him to keep flying the flag whatever the rules might say, even if it meant leaving school. [3] So Robinson hit on Instagram and on his Facebook page Wednesday and let everybody know what was happening — and fellow students quickly took up the cause, driving back to school that night with flags flying from their vehicles.  Out of frustration over the controversial directive, this is what he wrote on Instagram:

I’ve been told by 2 administrators at my school this morning that I can’t have an American Flag on my truck because other people have complained about it. Well let me tell you something, I have every right to fly an American flag. It will not be coming off of my truck. This really pisses me off. I ask that everyone that sees this post that attends York Comprehinsive flys an American flag of some sort on whatever they may drive to school tomorrow to prove a point. I will not let this go down without a fight. “#America #fightforourright  [16]

“I’ll keep fighting,” Robinson told WSOC Wednesday night. “I’m not letting it go; I won’t go down without a fight.”  [3] The York Comprehensive High School in South Carolina learned firsthand what happens when you decide to infringe on a student’s constitutional right to fly the American flag on his pickup truck. A huge crowd of patriotic students and veterans showed up the following morning at his school to show solidarity with him.  [8] More than 70 vehicles equipped with waving flags pulled into the school parking lot. [1] A crowd stood on the roadside and cheered them on, and what appeared to be a group of veterans saluted at the school’s entrance as they rode in. [1]

protest-us-flag-controversy School Official Tells Student He Can’t Fly U.S. Flag on His Truck School Official Tells Student He Can’t Fly U.S. Flag on His Truck protest us flag controversy

Apparently, the official thought the flags could “possibly” be offensive. And then later that same day (anticipating that people wouldn’t like his “political correctness” related motivation), the official decided to ban all such flags, purportedly because they could block the view of other drivers. [8] Here’s a raw clip of Thursday morning’s demonstration:

Principal Christopher Black told WSOC on Thursday he would be asking all of those students to remove their flags. But just a couple of hours after the demonstration, there was a big change of heart. [3] “Do [sic] to the outstanding display of patriotism through peaceful demonstration, it is apparent to us that many are not happy about this policy,” the school said in a statement. “School officials have reviewed the standing policy regarding flags and have decided that an exception will be made for the American flag, as long as the size of the flag(s) does not create a driving hazard.” [1] They added: “As administrators of York Comprehensive High School, we are extremely passionate Americans and have deep seeded feelings of patriotism,” the statement continued. [14] “We believe today is a great example of peaceful demonstration leading to positive change.” [14] Parents who were part of the demonstration called the decision a win. [2] “We’re just glad we got this victory today, and it just proves if you stand up for your country, you stand up for what you believe in, things get changed,” said James Crump. [2] “We fought for it, I fought for it,” said Patriot Guard rider Mark Ludwig. [2]

flag-policy-reversed School Official Tells Student He Can’t Fly U.S. Flag on His Truck School Official Tells Student He Can’t Fly U.S. Flag on His Truck flag policy reversed

“When I hear that you can’t fly the American flag it makes my blood run red, and my blood is red,” said Vietnam Veteran Michael Douglas, protesting at the school. [2] [11]  “We’re just glad we got this victory today, and it just proves if you stand up for your country, you stand up for what you believe in, things get changed,” said James Crump, another protester.  James Crump, said, “We as Americans have lost so much already. We didn’t stand up for prayer, we lost prayer in school. We didn’t stand up for the 10 Commandments, we lost that in the courthouse. But when you start talking about the flag that so many [have] died for and these students wanting to honor the flag, of course us as parents [are] going to stand behind them.” [14] Robinson told reporters he was happy with the outcome and is “Just proud to be an American.”  “I’m really surprised all these people showed up and I’m really appreciative of all the support from everybody, I had no idea it would get this big,” Robinson said. Robinson, who has relatives who have served, said he didn’t care if he was punished — he would continue flying the flag. “I’ve always been taught to stand up for what’s right,” he said. [7] [18]

The problem is that the American flag does offend people, quite a few people in fact. And they tend to be the exact same people who are offended by the Confederate flag, which is, in Peter Brimelow’s words, “simply the emblem of the white Southern component of the American nation” and until quite recently, “not seen as objectionable at all.” What’s offensive is not the flag, but those who are offended by it. [13] This is not an isolated incident. It appears that many school districts are adopting similar restrictions on displays of patriotism. [11] Indeed, the American flag has already been banned (at least on clothing) at American public schools precisely because “American” students of Mexican descent find it offensive. They see it (quite right) as the flag of their country, not ours. [13] On the last anniversary of 9/11, students at another South Carolina high school were told to remove flags because there is a district-wide policy prohibiting students from “drawing attention” to their vehicles. [11]  Other students have been punished and even suspended for flying and wearing American flags. Some schools have attempted to crack down on American flags being displayed on Cinco de Mayo, the Mexican holiday, for fear students of Mexican heritage may be offended. [11] The Supreme Court recently refused to review a case concerning California school officials banning students from wearing American flag t-shirts for fear of the garments being ‘disruptive’. This decision effectively affirmed a Ninth Circuit court ruling restricting the display of flags, setting a troubling precedent that, despite the First Amendment, displays of patriotism in America can be prohibited if deemed “offensive.” [11] Robinson’s defiance is praiseworthy, and he and his friends certainly showed more spirit than many students these days. But his defense is untenable, and in the long run, it won’t be enough to save the flag, or the actually existing nation and people it stands for. [13]

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[5] Todd Starnes, Old Glory to keep on trucking after school reverses ban, FOX News, May 14, 2015
[6] S.C. teen sparks protest over showing flags at school, CBS News, May 14, 2015, 12:36 PM
[7] Hunter Roosevelt, School Bans Teen From Flying American Flag. Quickly Regrets It, Controversial Times, May 14, 2015
[11] Steve Watson, School Orders Student To Remove “Offensive” US Flag From Truck, Infowars.com, May 15, 2015
[14] SC teen banned from flying flag on truck sparks protests, Student News Daily, May 15, 2015
[18] Amanda Andrade-Rhoades, Teen Fights School On American Flag Policy, Opposing Views, Thu, May 14, 2015

 

About Bill Wallace

Bill Wallace is a self-fashioned writter, a computer programmer and cybermarketer from Quebec City, Canada who decided to enter the political arena after his disillusionment with the socialist system under which he was living in the French Canadian province of Quebec.

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