“There’s that truck again,” I remarked to my wife. I always had to smile when I saw the black GMC with the big flags flapping in the wind.
Peyton Robinson, a senior at York Comprehensive High School in York, SC, has been driving his truck around our end of York County with two large flags attached to the bed – an American flag and one that honors POW/MIAs. Yesterday, he was pulled from class and sent to meet an administrator in the parking lot, where he discovered his flags had been removed and placed in the bed of his truck. He was told by school officials, “Do not return to school with these flags.”
After school Robinson drove home, re-mounted the flags, and decided that he was not going to allow anybody to mess with his truck – or his patriotism. He posted a photo of the American flag in his truck on social media with the promise: “Still flying, and it ain’t coming down.”
Robinson is the kind of guy you hear about in modern country songs. He not only drives a truck, he also works at Tractor Supply, is a volunteer fireman, an avid hunter, a devout Christian, and is into bull-riding and Chris LeDoux. When word got out around York and Robinson’s hometown of McConnells that one of their own good guys was going to take a stand for the American flag, folks came from every direction to support him.
An impromptu parade of more than 70 vehicles filled with flag-waving friends, classmates, and local patriots made its way through town and then parked in front of the school for a demonstration, country-style.
The story topped the news all over this mostly conservative South Carolina county, and was soon picked up by national media.
Robinson told a radio reporter that school officials gave him three different reasons for their anti-flag action. “First they told me that somebody had complained about it,” he said. “Then they said there was a rule against flags. Finally they said it was a safety hazard.”
The school’s superintendent, Vernon Prosser, cited a ‘standing policy’ against flags, but Robinson said no official policy was ever produced, and flags are neither mentioned in the student handbook nor on the school’s website.
“I’d understand if it was the Confederate flag or something that might offend somebody,” Robinson told WBTV news. “I wouldn’t do that. But an American flag? That’s our country’s flag. I have every right to do it.”
Today the school district waved its own white flag, issuing the following statement on its website:
Over the last 24 hours, an issue has been brought to light regarding our policy of flags not being allowed on our students’ vehicles in the student parking lot. Due to the outstanding display of patriotism through peaceful demonstration, it is apparent to us that many are not happy about this policy. 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 administrators of York Comprehensive High School, we are extremely passionate Americans and have deep seeded feelings of patriotism. We promote the good citizenship in our classrooms, fly the American flag in our rooms, in front of the building, and on our athletic fields. We have a student lead the pledge of allegiance every morning.
We appreciate the passion and pride of all who have called or come by YCHS over the past 24 hours. America was founded by Patriots who led positive change in a myriad of ways. We believe today is a great example of peaceful demonstration leading to positive change. This is the very process we advocate in our Social Studies classrooms and the fabric of American citizenship. Thank you for helping us as we educate the students of our community.
Our state employees always answer the phone with the sunny greeting: “It’s a Great Day in South Carolina!” And today WAS a great day. A patriotic young man stood up for his principles. His community rushed to support him. And the school district made a good decision based on input from its constituents.
This post can be seen in its entirety at Watchdog Arena.
Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side
I like to turn my music way up loud
Ain’t nothin’ better than the sound of a crowd
American flag it makes me proud
That’s how I like it