A twelve-year-old in Colorado was issued an apology by his school district after being ejected from school for a Gadsden Flag patch.
Jaiden, a student at the Vanguard School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was ordered to remove the patch of the flag earlier this week.
The teacher called in Jaiden’s mother, who was told the flag represented the slave trade.
The entire incident was filmed, with the school staff consistently doubling down after the mother challenged the historically inaccurate narratives they attempted to provide her.
“The reason we do not want the flag displayed is due to its origins with slavery and the slave trade,” a woman says to Jaiden’s mother.
“It has nothing to do with slavery. It’s the Revolutionary War patch,” his mother replied. “The Founding Fathers stood up for what they believed in, against unjust laws. This is unjust.”
Created in 1775 by South Carolina delegate Christopher Gadsden during the American Revolutionary War, the flag was adopted by both the Continental Marine Corps and the commander-in-chief of the Continental Navy.
That Moment when a 12 yr old Schools the whole School District— Lou (@TruthHawkEYE) August 30, 2023
Vanguard school Board rules that Jaiden is allowed to wear “Don’t Tread On Me” patch on his back pack to school
The school initially told him he can attend school after the removal of the “Don’t Tread On Me” patch… pic.twitter.com/nHK6ElpDsE
Despite some activist advocacy groups attempting to tie the flag to “white supremacy,” far-right and so-called “patriot movements,” the flag has multiple variations that span the entire political spectrum, and is so iconic in US history that it was included in the US Soccer team logo for some time.
Adding fuel to the fire in a surprising twist, the Democratic Governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, defended Jaiden in a statement made online.
“The Gadsden flag is a proud symbol of the American Revolution and (an) iconic warning to Britain or any government not to violate the liberties of Americans,” he wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “It appears on popular American medallions and challenge coins through today and Ben Franklin also adopted it to symbolize the union of the 13 colonies. It’s a great teaching moment for a history lesson!”
According to CPR, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s definition of the flag played the matter straight: “After a thorough review of the record, it is clear that the Gadsden Flag originated in the Revolutionary War in a non-racial context. Moreover, it is clear that the flag and its slogan have been used to express various non-racial sentiments, such as when it is used in the modern Tea Party political movement, gun rights activism, patriotic displays, and by the military. However, whatever the historic origins and meaning of the symbol, it also has since been sometimes interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts.”
Harrison School District 2 seemingly attempted to move the goalposts when cornered by journalists, claiming the flag patch was just a single issue. Other patches on the boy’s bag included “semi-automatic rifles” [oddly specific, unless the fire selector switches were visible in the design], as well as patches venerating St. Michael, the patron Saint of US Army paratroopers.
However, the Daily Mail reports that an apology has since been issued by the Vanguard School board of directors.
The Vanguard School Board of Directors called an emergency meeting.
“The Vanguard School recognizes the historical significance of the Gadsden flag and its place in history,” the statement read. “This incident is an occasion for us to reaffirm our deep commitment to classical education in support of these American principles. The District has informed the student’s family that he may attend school with the Gadsden flag patch visible on his backpack.”
In a video posted to Twitter, Jaiden noted that other students began displaying the Gadsden in a show of solidarity.
“Today was a good day,” he said. “The kids were really hyped up. They are putting ‘don’t tread on me’ on their locker. Now they like me all of a sudden.”
“But the teachers on the other hand, I got some dirty looks that’s for sure,” he continued. “They are definitely not happy with me.”
Colorado Springs is home to both the US Air Force Academy and Fort Carson.
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