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School Rethinks Anti-Flag Rule after Student Protest


A South Carolina high school revised its anti-flag policy after students at the school protested by hanging the American flag from their vehicles.

The demonstration was sparked after Peyton Robinson, an 18-year-old senior, was ordered to remove the American flag and POW-MIA flag from the back of his pick-up truck.

Robinson has hung the flags many times throughout the year and had never before received complaints about them.

Robinson shared the incident with WBTV-TV.

"'We're having some issues,'" Robinson recalled the words of an administrator. "'Some people were complaining about the flags in your truck.' The administrator then said the flags could possibly offend other students at the school and asked him to take them down before returning the following day."

But before Robinson had the chance to remove them, a school official unbolted the flags and laid them in his truck bed.

Officials from the school argue that flags such as Robinson's pose safety concerns for fellow drivers. Superintendent Vernon Prosser told WSOC-TV that the flags could possibly block the views of other drivers and cause a wreck.

The state highway safety patrol, however, allows drivers to hang flags off the back of their cars. 

"I'd understand if it was the Confederate flag or something that might offend somebody," Robinson told WBTV. "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," he continued. "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."

Robinson took to Facebook to share his experience. Fellow students rallied around Robinson by driving back to the high school that night with flags proudly flying behind their vehicles.

By the next morning, more than 70 vehicles had pulled into the school parking lot with waving flags. What appeared to be a group of veterans stood in front of the school saluting the patriotic cars as they drove into school.

Initially, the school asked the students involved to remove their flags. By the afternoon, however, school officials had a change of heart and decided to instead revise their policy banning flags.

"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 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," it read.

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