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Posted: May 13, 2015

Town rallies around student told to remove American flag

Officials now allowing flags on students' cars after peaceful demonstration

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IMAGES: Students protest after teen told to remove flags from truck
York County teen upset over school policy on flying flags

By Stephanie Coueignoux

WSOC-TV

YORK COUNTY, S.C. —

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Officials at one York County high school have had a change of heart about not allowing a student to display his American flag on the bed of his truck after dozens of students, community members held a peaceful protest.

The controversy started Wednesday when Peyton Robinson said a school administrator at York Comprehensive High School had a problem with the display when he arrived at school Wednesday morning.

Robinson, 18, has displayed the United States flag along with POW-MIA flags on the bed of his truck.

Social media updates: Students told to remove flags from vehicles at SC high school

"He was like, ‘We're having people say stuff about your flag and I just wanted to ask you to take it down,’" Robinson said.

5 Things to Know:  York student told to remove flags from truck

That administrator called him outside and by the time he got to his truck, the flags were already down, he said. 

"It just kind of upset me and aggravated me," Robinson said.

At the end of the day, officials announced to everyone that the flags were a safety concern.

On Thursday, school officials released a statement saying they will allow the American flag to fly as long as it doesn't create a driving hazard. 

"Due [sic] to the outstanding display of patriotism through peaceful demonstration, it is apparent to us that many are not happy about this policy," the statement read. "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."

READ FULL STATEMENT

The South Carolina Highway Patrol told WSOC-TV that the flags that the York students are flying are legal.

IMAGES: Students protest after teen told to remove flags from truck

Superintendent Vernon Prosser told WSOC-TV there is a policy at their school regarding oversized flags because of fear it could block another driver's view and cause a wreck.

Robinson's supporters drove to the high school Wednesday night with their flags flying on their vehicles.

RAW: Spectators wave US flags at York High School

"I'll keep fighting. I'm not letting it go I won't go down without a fight," Robinson said.

 FLAG FLAP: Student's father speaks to WSOC-TV

Community, classmates unite to show support for flying American flags


On Thursday morning, WSOC-TV was with students and community members as they rallied to show support for Robinson, waving American flags along Highway 5. More than 70 vehicles waving flags paraded down the highway into the school parking lot as well.

The principal, Christopher Black, told WSOC-TV that he would be asking all of those students to remove their flags once they arrived at the school, saying the policy is in place for safety reasons.

RAW VIDEO: Community, classmates gather to show support for Peyton Robinson

WSOC-TV spoke with Peyton’s father Thursday morning, who said he was proud of his son. He said he told his son to keep flying the flag no matter what -- even if it meant he’s told to leave school.

He also told WSOC-TV he’d be fine with his son flying a smaller flag, but it’s about being able to do that.

REACTION: Flags removed from student's vehicles in York Co.

A Vietnam veteran told WSOC-TV he bled for the flag and everyone deserves the right to have one.

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