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.
As reported by WBTV, 18-year-old senior Peyton Robinson was ordered to remove two flags by an administrator at York Comprehensive High School Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters, Robinson noted that the official told him “‘We’re having some issues. Some people were complaining about the flags in your truck,’” and that the offending items should be removed before the student returned to school the next day.
Worse still, Robinson says that a school official had even unscrewed bolts holding the flags to the truck, and laid them in the back “when I wasn’t even there.”
“That’s our country’s flag. I have every right to do it.” Robinson argued. “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.” he added.
The school officials then changed their story, suggesting that the flags constituted “safety concerns,” with the Superintendent suggesting they could block the view of drivers and cause accidents. It isn’t clear why school officials changed their story and suddenly took on the role of traffic cops.
By Thursday, however, the school completely reversed its position, following protests by students, parents, and veterans who flocked to school grounds waving US flags.
School officials relented and said Robinson and other students are free to fly US flags on vehicles so long as they pose no hazard.
“Due to the outstanding display of patriotism through peaceful demonstration, it is apparent to us that many are not happy about this policy,” the school district posted on its website. “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.”
“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.
“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.
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.
This is not an isolated incident.
It appears that many school districts are adopting similar restrictions on displays of patriotism.
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.
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.
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.”
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.