A Southern California school backtracked on denying high school students from painting American flag designs on parking spaces for a fundraising auction.

"I wanted to do an American flag because I love representing my country," said Granite Hills High School senior Dane Gilbert, according to CBS8. "I love my country, and red, white and blue are my favorite colors." 

Gilbert and five other students who proposed similar American flag designs were at first denied approval at the El Cajon school. The designs are part of a fundraising effort for the school, where students paint on parking spots that are then auctioned off. 

Gilbert’s mother took issue with the denial, and posted about it on social media.  

"Immediate anger set in and it wasn't a good conversation, I can tell you that," said Wendy Gilbert, according CBS8. "No American citizen or anybody should have to ask permission to show their patriotism in this country." 

"This flag means freedom and nobody can take that away from us," she added. 

The Grossmont Union High School District reached out to the local VFW, asking veterans for their perspective on the prospect of using designs depicting vets painted on the ground. 

The chaplain at the VFW post in El Cajon, Tom Dorsey, said he "immediately" told the district he had no objection to the designs. 

"I told her immediately that I didn't have any disagreement with it," he recounted to the outlet. "I thought it was great that there are six young patriots out at Granite Hills High School that are proud to display the American flag." 

"It means everything," Dorsey added. "When I was in Vietnam, as long as that flag was flying, we were fighting. If there was no flag up there, we were goners, so yea, it means a lot to me." 

The principal of Granite Hills High School, Mike Fowler, told the students on Monday that they could proceed with their patriotic designs after not getting any pushback from the VFW. 

"Oh it was great," said Gilbert, who received the news on his birthday. "On my birthday and it was a great birthday present." 

The incident comes as the perception of the American flag as a divisive symbol has spread to mainstream culture, with singer Macy Gray saying earlier this summer the flag should be updated because the current one is "tattered, dated, divisive, and incorrect." A New York Times editorial board member, Mara Gay, also said in June during a segment on MSNBC that she was "disturbed" to see American flags during a trip on Long Island - a comment the New York Times defended.  

A California teacher was recently removed from her classroom after a viral video showed her admitting that she encouraged her students to pledge allegiance to a gay pride flag after she removed the American flag from the classroom because it made her "uncomfortable."

No comments:

Post a Comment