Stars-and-Stripes forever

Published 9:26 am Thursday, November 18, 2010

As parents or mentors of young children, we stress the importance of living in such a great nation, enjoying the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution…a document defended over the years by the blood of American military forces.

Imagine the surprise of 13-year-old Cody Alicea, a student at Denair (California) Middle School, when he was told by school officials that he could not display an American flag on the back of his bicycle while on school property.

To compound the issue, Alecia had planned his “Stars-and-Stripes” tribute on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) as a way to honor all veterans, his grandfather in particular.

The reasoning behind the flag ban was that school officials believed the sight of our nation’s proud colors may offend others.

Say what?

We could understand that an American flag flown on the school grounds, or anywhere for that matter, could be found offensive in a nation where past history has shown an utter distaste and hatred for the United States of America.

The last time we looked, California remained as one of the 50 states that comprise the USA.

The last time we looked, perhaps the most well-known icon of this nation is its flag. It is proudly displayed daily in each and every nook, corner and cranny of America.

Shame on these Denair school officials for denying this young man his First Amendment rights.

Thank-you to the Liberty Counsel for pointing out that error in judgment, prompting those same school officials to rescind their decision.

Thank-you to those proud Americans from all walks of life who stood behind Cody, supporting him to continue his efforts to display a flag his grandfather followed into battle in foreign lands.

As Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, so aptly commented: “It is a sad day in America when flag burning receives greater protection than flag waving. Cody Alicea should be applauded for his patriotism, and these school officials should be given a remedial class in First Amendment freedoms. The outpouring of patriotism by the community and Americans worldwide gives each one of us hope for America.”

– The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald