A viral video on social media depicted a young elementary school student in Colorado Springs, Colorado, being removed from class for having a Gadsden flag patch on his backpack. According to the school administrator, the patch was “disruptive to the classroom environment” and had “origins with slavery.”
A recent Fox News article stated, “As the emails revealed, Jeff Yocum, The Vanguard School’s director of operations, cited reports from mainstream news outlets that linked the Gadsden flag to racism because it was created by a slave owner and associated with other displays of intolerance.”
However, the boy’s mother argued that the flag originated during the American Revolution as a symbol of the 13 colonies’ fight against the British Crown and did not promote slavery. The school insisted that the Gadsden flag’s origin is tied to slavery and has been associated with modern racist movements.
The Vanguard School staff cited reports from mainstream news outlets that linked the Gadsden flag to racism because it was created by a slave owner and associated with other displays of intolerance. The school’s director of operations cited a Washington Post article that detailed a case in which the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ordered the U.S. Postal Service to investigate a complaint made by one of its employees, who said that a co-worker who wore a Gadsden flag hat to work amounted to racial discrimination.
However, the EEOC never judged whether racial discrimination came from the flag in that specific case, and on its website, it said it “did not find that the Gadsden Flag in fact, is a racist symbol.”
The Gadsden flag is a symbol of American patriotism and independence. It features a coiled rattlesnake, ready to strike, on a yellow background, with the words “Don’t Tread on Me” emblazoned beneath it. The flag’s design is attributed to Christopher Gadsden, a colonel in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, who presented it to the South Carolina Provincial Congress in 1775.
The flag quickly became a popular symbol of the American Revolution, as it represented the colonists’ willingness to fight for their liberty and freedom. It was flown on ships, carried into battle, and used as a rallying cry during the war.
After the Revolution, the flag continued to be used as a symbol of American patriotism. It was a popular emblem during the War of 1812 and the Civil War. The Gadsden flag was also adopted by various political groups throughout American history, including the Tea Party movement in the early 2000s.
Despite its popularity, the flag has been criticized by some for its association with extremist groups and white nationalism. However, supporters argue that the flag represents a commitment to individual liberty and limited government. Therefore, it should be viewed historically as a symbol of American independence and patriotism. You cannot ban parts of American history that you are either ignorant of or don’t like.
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