Date: May 2, 2006
Byline: Melanie Hunter
Bill Would Punish Schools that Prevent Display of US Flag
A North Carolina lawmaker introduced a bill Tuesday that would prohibit a school from receiving federal funds if it prevents a student from displaying or wearing a representation of the U.S. flag in a respectful manner.
Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) introduced H.R. 5255, also known as the American Flag Display Protection Act, after recent reports of several schools in California, Arizona and Colorado banning the display of U.S. flags or the wearing of clothes with other patriotic symbols in reaction to clashes between students regarding the debate over immigration.
"The most important symbol of any Nation is the national flag," Jones said in a press release. "Since ancient times, flags or banners have served to identify and unify groups of people, especially in times of war."
In April, a Denver newspaper reported that several students in Shaw Heights Middle School were given one-day suspensions after wearing U.S. Marines t-shirts or shirts with U.S. flags. Also, another student at a middle school was suspended for a D.A.R.E. program shirt that had a flag behind the logo.
"Throughout our Nation, the American flag is displayed in classrooms and school hallways," said Jones. "The display of the American flag by students should be afforded an extraordinary level of protection — and should by no means be equated with the treatment of those who choose to display the flag of foreign powers.
"School officials in this country who prohibit students from wearing or displaying the United States flag in a respectful manner should not do so without consequence," concluded Jones.
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