A video circulating on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, shows a 12-year-old boy being removed from a Colorado Springs, Colorado, classroom, because of a patriotic patch on his backpack.
The video shows the boy’s mother having a meeting with an unyielding school administrator who firmly states the Gadsen flag patch is linked to slavery and is “disruptive to the classroom environment.”
The administrator seemed not to be aware of, or swayed by, the fact that the Gadsen flag was linked to the American Revolutionary War — not slavery. The flag was a symbol of the 13 colonies’ fight against British oppression.
The administrator steadfastly claimed the flag that has the logo “Don’t Tread on Me” has “origins with slavery.”
When the boy’s mother asked what would happen if Jaiden didn’t remove the patch, the administrator said: “The bag can’t go back if it’s got the patch on it, cause we can’t have that in and around other kids.”
The mother was flabbergasted. She asked the administrator if perhaps she was somehow mistaking the Gadsen Flag for the Confederate Flag.
The administrator responded, “I am here to enforce the policy that was provided by the district and definitely, you have every right not to agree with it.”
The mother expressed frustration over the disciplinary action noting that other children had patches on their clothing and backpacks and that the school website had no prohibitions about patches.
Refusing to yield, the administrator offered to connect the mother with Jeff Yocum, The Vanguard School’s director of operations.
According to Fox News, Libertas Institute President Connor Boyack obtained images of the email correspondence between Yocum and the mother.
Emails show that Yocum cited various “mainstream” news outlets that linked the Gadsden flag to racism, ostensibly because it was designed by a slaveowner and “associated with other displays of intolerance.”
Fox News noted that Yocum attempted to validate his position by quoting an Iowa State University graphic design scholar, Paul Bruski, who said, “Because of its creator’s history and because it is commonly flown alongside ‘Trump 2020’ flags, the Confederate battle flag and other white-supremacist flags, some may now see the Gadsden flag as a symbol of intolerance and hate – or even racism.”
Yocum also shared a Washington Post article that claimed an employee complained that a co-worker wore a Gadsen flag patch saying that it “amounted to racial discrimination.”
Yocum also claimed the Gadsen flag violated the school’s policy outlawing symbols that “Refer to drugs, tobacco, alcohol, or weapons.”
Notably, The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said it “did not find that the Gadsden Flag in fact is a racist symbol.”
Nevertheless, the flag’s association with some Trump supporters and an unfounded racist claim by the Washington Post emboldened Yocum and The Vanguard School’s decision against the boy, who is forbidden from attending class with the Gadsen Flag symbol on his backpack or clothing.
Perhaps lost on the administrators is the irony that the Gadsen Flag originated as a push-back against tyranny.
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