Tom Balek with Watchdog.org is doing the kind of local reporting that I hope we see more of. This story comes from the not terribly exciting sounding environment of a high school in South Carolina. Peyton Robinson is a senior at the local school who is also a volunteer fireman and drives his own pickup truck. Mounted in the back are two flags… one the American flag and the other a POW/MIA flag. Unfortunately, Peyton showed up for school one day and found that his display was no longer welcome.
Peyton Robinson, a senior at York Comprehensive High School in York, S.C., 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 military servicemen and women who have been taken as POWs (prisoners of war) or are MIA (missing in action).
On Wednesday, May 13, 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.”
Here’s the offending vehicle.
The reasons that the school gave for removing Peyton’s flags were varying and not terribly convincing. They cited standing “school policy” which they could not produce in writing. They warned of safety concerns. (I sort of had some sympathy for that one because those are pretty big flags, but again, they had nothing to document it.) They also said that someone had complained. As I said… unconvincing.
The dispute made the local news and before they knew it the school had a wee bit of a problem on their hands. An impromptu parade formed up and the school suddenly had more than 70 flag waving vehicles parked in front of their entrance. Once that happened, there was an abrupt “change of policy” at the school, posted on their website. I’ll leave you to click through and read the verbal gymnastics they went through to let the community know that there weren’t in any way unpatriotic and that Peyton would be able to keep his flags.
One young man, a truck with two flags and a community full of people who admire the boy’s work ethic and patriotism. You never know what you can accomplish when you get the people up on their hind legs in support of a cause. Great article by Tom. Thanks for sharing this story.