There’s a controversy brewing in the heart of Virginia. A student in Dinwiddie County was asked by school administrators to remove an American flag he had flying from his pickup truck.
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The local ABC affiliate, 8News, has been covering the story. Reporter Parker Slaybaugh broke the story. He says Daniel Nunnally Jr., a student at the high school, was asked to remove his American flag from his truck. Slaybaugh’s story gained traction, and the backlash against the school was almost immediate.
“I was in the middle of my 2nd period weight training class and my assistant principal came in and pulled me out of class and told me that I had to go outside to take both flags off my truck so there is no controversy or anything,” Nunnally told 8News.
“I kind of started getting angry because what’s the problem with the American Flag? I asked her, ‘is it the don’t tread on me (flag) that you have a problem with? Because I can go take that one down real quick, but she told me both of them.”
“My entire family fought and died under that flag,” Daniel Nunnally Sr. said.
“I understand the confederate flag, if there was a problem with that, but this is the American flag,” Nunnally Jr. said.
When the news organization contacted the school, a spokesman said that the flags were removed “for safety concerns.” The student’s safety, apparently. They were concerned that he may not be able to see out of the rear window of his truck because of the flags.
After the news spread,others began showing up with flags on their cars and trucks. And the school caved under the pressure. Claiming they had spoken with local authorities who had assured them that side-view mirrors were adequate for the operation of a pickup truck, the school relented and approved the flags.
“If it was a road hazard or for the safety of his driving, it would be up to the sheriff’s department,” Nunnally Jr.’s father, Daniel Nunnally Sr. told the news crew. “Our local sheriff’s department does a pretty good job out here.”
Even the ACLU has weighed in. 8News reports that the ACLU compared this to an incident at Christiansburg High School.
“The issues are the same. Unless school officials can point to some specific reason to believe the student’s exercise of free speech will cause a major disruption of the school environment or educational process, it is illegal to stifle it. Neither that the speech is potentially controversial nor that they fear it will block the view from his vehicle is sufficient justification for this action.”
And then this glorious twist happened: