Several people have contacted the Greenville County School District in South Carolina, asking why students were banned from carrying American flags on the field of a Friday night game between Travelers Rest and Berea high schools. Unfortunately, the school district is standing by the ban on American flags at this game, and their reasoning is enough to tick off any red-blooded American.
Lou Lavely, the principal of Travelers Rest High School, issued a statement regarding the disallowing of the flags on Saturday after the Friday night football game where Old Glory was banned. Lavely said that the flag has been used in the past to taunt Berea High School students. Students at Berea High School got so offended by American flags because the school has a high Hispanic population.
“The flag has been used in the past to taunt Berea students and community that has led to confrontation. Student safety (and in the case of a football game, safety of all attending) is our primary concern. It is the responsibility of the school to provide the safest environment possible and no object, sign, chants by students, etc. would be permitted if they compromise safety,” said Lavely, who later added that “using the American flag as a method to taunt or some way degrade another school is disrespectful to the American flag in itself.”
Lavely is supported by his rival principal, Mike Noel, of Berea High School. “I am in full support of Mr. Lavely’s actions at the football game on Friday night. He was protecting the greatest symbol of our nation, the American flag. His decision was based on the premise that the American flag should not be used in a disrespectful or unsportsmanlike like manner. He made the right decision.”
Although these two principals feel that they are protecting the American flag, what they are actually doing is protecting the feelings of a few teenagers, who are disrespecting the flag these principals think they are protecting. It is rather mind boggling as to how, in the United States, the American flag can be considered offensive or used as taunting — unless, of course, you are anti-American, in which case, tell those students to go someplace with a flag they don’t find “offensive.”
On the heels of the controversy surrounding an NFL quarterback refusing to stand for the national anthem, high school football games have now banned American flags on the field. Both are an anti-American display. As the high school principals defend their decision, saying they don’t want to offend Hispanic students, they neglect to realize the freedoms and prestige that come with residing in our country, which is likely the very reason those Hispanic students are here to begin with. If living in America is not offensive to these students, then the displaying of the American flag shouldn’t be either.