When the school administration at York Comprehensive High School in South Carolina insisted that 18-year-old senior Peyton Robinson mustn’t fly his American flag and POW-MIA flag in the bed of his pickup truck, due to “safety concerns,” Peyton was notably bothered.
According to Theblaze.com: “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 on the school grounds.
Peyton went on to explain that at some point Wednesday, a school official unscrewed the bolts that secured the flags to his truck and laid them in the bed “when I wasn’t even there.”
Later that same day, officials conveniently 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.
As you can imagine, the senior, who himself had family members in the military, was not about to go gently into that good night. ”I was pretty mad,” he told WBTV. “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.”
So Robinson took to his Facebook page Wednesday and let anybody who would listen know about his gripe, and fellow students quickly rallied to his cause. Later that same day students and parents drove to the school with American flags flying proudly from their vehicles.
“I’ll keep fighting,” Robinson told WSOC Wednesday night. “I’m not letting it go; I won’t go down without a fight.”
The next morning more than 70 vehicles equipped with waving flags pulled into the school parking lot, while a cheering crowd of veterans stood on the roadside applauding and saluting the vehicles as they road by. A simple, yet beautiful, patriotic sight.
Suddenly, Principal Christopher Black, who’d just hours before asked all the those students to remove their flags, seemed to have a change of heart after the powerful display of pride.
“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.”
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.