School surrenders in fight to ban ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ flag

By Bob Unruh

(Photo by Joe Kovacs)
(Photo by Joe Kovacs)

A school district in Colorado Springs where officials had booted a student from class for having a Gadsden flag patch on his backpack has surrendered.

Officials at the Vanguard school there have confirmed they “have informed the student’s family that he may attend school with the Gadsden flag patch on his backpack.”

WND had reported only a day earlier the school had booted 12-year-old Jaiden Rodriguez from class.

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Jaiden wearing his backpack with a Gadsden Flag patch on the back (Video screenshot)
12-year-old Jaiden Rodriguez wearing his backpack with a Gadsden Flag patch on the back (Video screenshot)

The reason? His backpack had a patch with the image of the Gadsden flag, the famed “Don’t Tread on Me” image used against the British during America’s war for freedom.

Rodriguez’s mother had accused the school of “one-sided” censorship.

The school’s statement said, “Upon learning of these events today, The Vanguard School Board of Directors called an emergency meeting. From Vanguard’s founding we have proudly supported our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the ordered liberty that all Americans have enjoyed for almost 250 years. The Vanguard School recognizes the historical significance of the Gadsden flag and its place in history. This incident is an occasion for us to reaffirm our deep commitment to a classical education in support of these American principles.

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“At this time, the Vanguard School Board and the District have informed the student’s family that he may attend school with the Gadsden flag patch visible on his backpack.”

Sen. Mike Lee, from neighboring Utah, explained, “This was never going to end well for The Vanguard School. The First Amendment is a thing. Libs lament that it applies even to (gasp) conservatives.”

WND had reported a staff member at the school claimed the flag is “disruptive to the classroom environment,” because, she claimed inaccurately, it has “origins with slavery.”

Jaiden’s mother then corrected her, pointing out that it originated during the American Revolution as a symbol of the 13 colonies fight against Britain, and had nothing to do with slavery.

A video showed the school staffer stating, “So the reason that they do not want the flag – the reason we do not want the flag displayed – is due to its origins with slavery, and slave trade.”

The mother, surprised, said, “The Gadsden Flag?”

Yes, the school official indicated: “The ‘Don’t Tread on Me.’”

The school official was demanding in that, “The bag can’t go back [to class] if it’s got the patch on it, cause we can’t have that in and around other kids.”

When Jaiden’s mother pointed out the actual history of the flag, and suggested the school official was making a mistake, referencing the Confederate flag, the school official backtracked, and then claimed it was a district policy.

“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 and her son then challenged the school over the fact other patches, with other political viewpoints, were not being censored.

After the confrontation, Libertas Institute President Connor Boyack obtained images of the email correspondence between school director Jeff Yocum and Jaiden’s mother.

Yocum also claimed the flag’s connection to slavery, citing “reports from mainstream news outlets which linked the Gadsden Flag to racism because it was created by a slaveowner and associated with other displays of intolerance.”

His evidence was that claim was made by a graphic designer in Iowa, and in a Washington Post article that documented a Postal Service employee’s allegation a coworker with a Gadsden Flag hat was racial discrimination.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a far-left activist for LGBTQ ideology and abortion, joined the conversation to defend the student, admitting the flag “is a proud symbol of the American revolution.”

“The Gadsden flag is a proud symbol of the American Revolution and an iconic warning to Britain or any government not to violate the liberties of Americans,” Polis wrote Tuesday. “It appears on popular American medallions and challenge coins through today and Ben Franklin also adopted it to symbolize the union of the 13 colonies.”

And a commentary on Twitchy cited the school’s action and said, “No, we’re not making that up and yes, this school is really really really stupid.”

But it pointed that Polis didn’t actually do anything to resolve the issue.

“God forbid he actually DO something,” the commentary said. “We all know he doesn’t want to tick off the teacher’s union/association.”

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