Maybe it’s not what you’d expect to happen in South Carolina. But it does seem like these bursts of official absurdity are occurring just about everywhere now.
At least the ending was vintage Carolina.
Senior Peyton Robinson was told on Wednesday 13 May, by an administrator of York Comprehensive High School in York, SC, that he would have to remove the American flag and the POW flag that he has on poles on his pickup truck.
The directive was reportedly due to complaints received about the flags from unnamed “people”:
“He said, ‘We’re having some issues. Some people were complaining about the flags in your truck,’” Robinson told WBTV-TV. 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.
Robinson thought this sounded pretty lame.
“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.”
He found when he went out to his truck on Wednesday that someone had already taken down the poles his flags fly on, and laid them in the truck bed.
But Peyton Robinson wasn’t taking this lying down. He rallied friends on Facebook that afternoon, and on Wednesday evening, a convoy of vehicles drove back to the school with flags. By Thursday morning, the revolt had swelled to some 70 vehicles, which all pulled into the school parking lot flying the American flag.
The principal told a local news crew Thursday morning that the students would have to remove their flags. But then the school reversed that decision the same day.
“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.”
As Blaze notes, the state highway patrol says Robinson’s flags are legal.
Things haven’t always gone so well for students wanting to display the American flag at school. In 2010, parents sued a school district in San Jose, CA over a policy that prohibited students from wearing shirts with American flag themes on Cinco de Mayo — a policy that was made because Hispanic students took offense at the American flag shirts, and the district feared that violence would ensue. As Howard Portnoy reported last year, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the school against the parents. And this year, on 30 March 2015, the Supreme Court declined to hear the plaintiffs’ appeal.
In Colorado, in 2014, students at Fort Collins High School were told they could not have a day to honor America during their Winter Spirit Week, because administrators “didn’t want to offend anyone from other countries or immigrants.” All students were, however, required to participate in Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
Sometimes things do go better, however. In March 2015, a small group of student legislators at UC-Irvine decided to ban display of the American flag from the lobby of the student association building. Reportedly, students were complaining that the sight of the flag “triggered” them. But student government leaders themselves acted shortly thereafter to reverse the ban:
“Our campus is patriotic and proud,” student government President Reza Zomorrodian told me. “We did something right for our campus.”
“Our campus stands with the flag,” he said.
Clearly, so do the students at York Comprehensive High School. Forever in peace may Old Glory wave.