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School Tries to Cancel a Beloved Symbol of American Independence

Posted on Saturday, September 2, 2023
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AMAC Exclusive – By Tom Doniphon

gadsden flag, student showed flag at school

Earlier this week, the story of a 12-year-old student named Jaiden Rodriguez went viral after he was kicked out of his Colorado Springs classroom for wearing a backpack adorned with a patch featuring the Gadsden flag, the iconic yellow banner from the American Revolution bearing the image of a rattlesnake and the famous words “Don’t Tread On Me.” The school claimed that Jaiden’s patch was “disruptive to the classroom environment,” has its “origins with slavery,” and is an “unacceptable symbol” linked to “white supremacy.”

This attack on the Gadsden flag quickly prompted widespread outrage over the school’s attempted cancellation of this beloved symbol of American independence. Even Colorado’s Democrat governor weighed in, saying that the Gadsden flag is a “proud symbol of the American Revolution” and that he “supports freedom of expression.”

Thankfully, on August 29, The Vanguard School reversed its decision and allowed Jaiden to return to the classroom, patch in place. Nonetheless, Americans see this attempt to smear the history of the Gadsden flag for what it is: just another attempt by the left to distort America’s history and traditions as irredeemably racist and worthy of scorn.

The Gadsden flag has from the beginning been a symbol of America’s rugged determination to fight for our liberty and independence. First used by Esek Hopkins, the first commander in chief of the U.S. Navy during the American Revolution, the flag became one of the finest expressions of American unity and resolve.

In 1776, Christopher Gadsden—the namesake of the flag today—presented the flag to the Provincial Congress of South Carolina, where it was subsequently displayed in the state’s congressional hall. Of course, there is nothing racially charged in the flag’s origins whatsoever.

Yet this incident in Colorado isn’t the first time the Gadsden flag has come under scrutiny. After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, fusion centers funded by the Department of Homeland Security referred to individuals or groups displaying the flag as “extremist,” and the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Symbols Guide listed the Gadsden flag among the “commonly referenced historical images” used by extremists.

The Gadsden flag also became associated with the Tea Party movement after 2009, prompting plenty of liberal think pieces about how the banner is now a “problematic” symbol. Who knew opposing unchecked government spending could be so controversial?

In 2014, a U.S. Postal worker filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against a coworker for wearing a hat with the Gadsden symbol on it because he said it was a “historical indicator of white resentment against blacks.” Fortunately, the EEOC concluded that “it is clear” that the flag originated in a “non-racial context,” and the Postal Service ultimately dismissed the complaint.

As Americans see the failing test scores, activist administrators, hateful ideologies, and pornographic reading materials that have become commonplace in our schools, we have to wonder why some school administrators are more focused on policing the free speech of their students than on teaching students the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.

One likely reason is that activist-minded school officials have been empowered and encouraged by liberal bureaucrats in Washington. In October 2021, Attorney General Merrick Garland and his Department of Justice directed the FBI to investigate concerned parents who spoke up at local school board meetings and even went so far as to label them with domestic terrorist “threat tags.”

Now, under the Biden administration, if you are a concerned parent who doesn’t want biological males sharing restroom and locker room facilities with your daughter, or vice versa, or even if you want your kids to receive an education free from political indoctrination, you might find yourself under investigation by the FBI.

All the while, test scores continue to fall, and student outcomes get worse and worse. America’s school administrators and our government officials should be more concerned about the fact that American students are failing to learn the skills they need to succeed—not pushing woke ideologies and stifling the free speech of children in their classrooms.

Tom Doniphon is the pen name of a former official in the Trump Administration.

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Rob citizenship
Rob citizenship
10 months ago

Important article Mr.Doniphon, well written, and supporting the right ideals, at the right time. This is the sort of thing that is a true strength builder , I am referring to the strength of character for standing up for principles, like remembering American history and what Freedom is all about. I am 73, visited Independence Hall Philadelphia for the first time in 1961, with my parents. The Declaration of Independence has been part of my soul and spirit ever since then. Good to keep in mind the last sentence of the Declaration at certain times, it sets the spirit right in a way that is inspiring and truly meaningful — ” And in support of this Declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes , our Sacred Honor . ” So, the Gadsden flag situation in Colorado turned out good, and that helps to keep an outlook that is sensible, and in the interest of Courage, and respect for Truth and Liberty, — for the whole Nation. Well Done with this writing Tom , it is appreciated.

Steve
Steve
10 months ago

It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when a teacher(?) didn’t have a clue about the origin of the Gadsden flag.

Brian
Brian
10 months ago

I’m thinking we need to to implement widespread display of the Gadsden by conservatives nationwide!

Laura
Laura
10 months ago

Just one more way the Democratic Communist Party is stepping on our freedom of speech.

Theresa Coughlin
Theresa Coughlin
10 months ago

teachers should only be teaching reading, writing, math and history (not the 1619 version). anything else does NOT belong in the classroom

Linda Heer
Linda Heer
10 months ago

In my opinion they are treading on our freedom to express ourselves!! They should never have expelled him in the first place!!

Smike
Smike
10 months ago

I would be concerned about a 12-year-old or any high school kid wearing a Gadsden flag to class these days. Was the kid trying to tell someone something or was he just wearing it because he thought it looked cool? The school panicked and things got out of hand. The school had a chance to find out if this kid was being bullied or pushed around and he was tired of it. Or if he was just wearing a cool patch – that he may not have known anything about because we don’t teach history anymore. The school blew it and did the wrong thing from start to finish.

Phillip Nagle
Phillip Nagle
10 months ago

The absolute ignorance of the school official who made wildly incorrect claims as to the history of the Gadsden Flag is highly disturbing. Anyone that stupid should not be educating children.

Mary Sorenson
Mary Sorenson
10 months ago

The don’t tread on me patch was not the issue, it was the other patches on the back pack about guns and drugs . The parents were spoken to about the patches.

Mary Sorenson
Mary Sorenson
10 months ago

There’s more to this story than being told.

Mary Sorenson
Mary Sorenson
10 months ago

I’m visiting in Colorado Springs and my grandson goes to this school. Get all your facts. Vanguard is a charter school under Harrison dist.2. Vanguard stood up to the district regarding this patch. This child was asked twice to remove other patches regarding guns and automatic weapons. Harrison has tough policies regarding violence. They use to have serious gang issues and with hard work they gor things under control and raised their standards for graduation.

Sharon Ormsby
Sharon Ormsby
10 months ago

She also said the backpack had other patches relating to gun rights on it and made the parents take off those patches. This was on a video played by Dan Bongino. No other story has referenced this part of the story. I am so glad however, that the principal was called down by the Governor, a Democrat one, of Colorado, and schooled by him. I, myself, thought it was a Texas symbol, because it was a flag used at Goliad, in one of their battles. I should have known better. That was not part of my education either, and I’m 63 now. I just knew it was a really OLD flag and NOT part of slavery. Just wish these stories would go nationwide as in our full media and educate the young people. It’s too bad that the other patches had to be removed though.

Celia
Celia
10 months ago

Great! Carry on!

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
10 months ago

Truth is Revolutionary era flags are embraced primarily by Republicans/conservatives and that’s what REALLY PO’d off that teacher. “Slavery” is just a dog whistle because she knows political views are protected speech she/school district could be sued for…

Philip Seth Hammersley
Philip Seth Hammersley
10 months ago

These “teachers” and “administrators” only censor certain symbols. They even promote the wearing of “gay” symbols or BLM symbols! SCOTUS as clearly ruled that the school or its agents CANNOT censor symbols worn by students!

anna hubert
anna hubert
10 months ago

Dems Cultural revolution Independence and individuality are the most dangerous ideas and thread to their existence

SAW
SAW
10 months ago

The teacher must have skipped History 101 in school…

Patrick Switzer
Patrick Switzer
10 months ago

These unconstitutional attacks on our rights have to be stopped

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
10 months ago

NO & every kid should get a flag & patch nationwide

Big Russ
Big Russ
10 months ago

WRONG! YOU MEAN the Communist Democrats, NOT the GOP!

Victoria Martin
Victoria Martin
10 months ago

What is the school so afraid of? I wonder if his T-shirt or his backpack praised Che Guevara or another communist criminal, would they send that kid home?

Ty
Ty
10 months ago

Huh, the slogan from the DNC is:”MAKE ME GREAT AGAIN!”That’s not nearly as inclusive as the RNC:”MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”Wonder why its not inclusive?

Carolyn floyd
Carolyn floyd
10 months ago

Where can I purchase one of these flags?

Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis
10 months ago

It is time the Republican House defund the deep state “independent agencies”, before our freedoms are lost to tyrants who apparently have not read the Constitution and Bill of Rights or just don’t give a damn.

REB1957
REB1957
10 months ago

I’m offended by the prominent displays of the pride flags, especially when flown alongside the American flag. Any chance a member of the Democrat Socialist Communist Party will agree with me and take this stand?

John Shipway
John Shipway
10 months ago

Perhaps someone with kids at Vanguard School should perhaps heed the message of the Gadsen Flag and perhaps REALLY show the Karen at that school that kicked the poor kid out of class what payback really means.
Its time to REALLY act folks.

Jeff
Jeff
10 months ago

Good for Jaiden Rodriguez and even better kudos to his parents for raising him to love history and what the USA is all about.

Sevcik Vern
Sevcik Vern
10 months ago

interesting – do we need a new way to teach, or do we need to study the actual history of our country.

Joe Roberts
Joe Roberts
10 months ago

Unfortunately, there are too many people who wake up each morning and before they get out of bed think to themselves, “Well, what am I going to be offended by today so I can impose my will on others?” They did that with the Confederate flag which for many is simply a symbol of heritage and Southern pride and not racist and now for the Gadsden flag. Woke liberals just don’t know how to “live and let live.” They knee-jerk to things because somebody “told them so”.

Melinda
Melinda
10 months ago

Of course a symbol of liberty and opposition to government overreach would be a threat to the deep state controllers. Live on, Gadsden!

P2burner
P2burner
10 months ago

I’m glad I won’t be around to see our country run by the next generation. Our financial institutions will be run by people that can’t add ( because math is, apparently, racist) and our city, state and federal governments will be run by people who can’t read or understand. Pretty horrifying.

Bil Smith
Bil Smith
10 months ago

Every transgression by any public official, especially by ANY employee of a public-supported educational facility should be immediately identified for its traitoristic content, published and broadcast nationally, name names of the transgressors, demand they be terminated and replaced with patriotic-minded people and dispense with the intellectual trash being promulgated by these societal parasites. Citizens, especially parents whose children are being negatively affected by this nonsense must organize to rid every community—including the universities–of these creeps.

David Millikan
David Millikan
10 months ago

Every Parent Should Pull Their Kids Out of That School and NOT Pay ANY KIND of TAXES that go towards that Communist school.
And FIRE ALL Personnel that supports or teaches Anti-American.
Add WITHHOLD ALL Federal Funding and Grants from schools including colleges, universities, institutes/institutions that teach Anti-American.
These are YOUR CHILDREN they are BRAINWASHING to HATE AMERICA.

Republican
Republican
10 months ago

yeah!
don’t read to me! lol

Joyce Phelps
Joyce Phelps
10 months ago

Excellent article! Hit the nail on the head!

Smike
Smike
10 months ago

Before we jump off the deep end like school officials frequently do there should have been some discussion with the 12 year old involved. I would been concerned in this day and age if a 12 year old wore a backpack with the Gadsden flag on it. Is the kid telling us something or does he just think it a cool patch. Does he even know what the Gadsen flag is about? Since we no longer teach history at schools anymore he probably doesn’t. And once you get the media involved it’s certain to go viral and out of context – and it did. This wasn’t something that should have been simply ignored but it should have been delt with in a mature adult manner and it wasn’t. I was handled wrong from the beginning and got worse….

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