COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 18, 2014—The Tea Party News Network Saturday headlined an article titled “Fly the Gadsden Flag, Get Kicked Out of School? Guess Where That Happened.” Unfortunately, it happened in Mesa County, Colorado. The story was picked up by The TeaParty.net and has been shared over 10,000 times on Facebook. The story originated on The Examiner but it came from a post Greg Stoneburner (aka “the perp”) made on his Facebook page on May 14.
Likely to be ignored by the establishment media, new media is taking the story viral.
The story is simple, if disturbing: as a graduation senior prank on May 9, Stoneburner replaced the school flag with the Gadsden flag, which flew on the school’s flagpole underneath the Stars and Stripes. He also “posted a short history lesson on the Gadsden flag on the flag pole, as well as an explanation stating that the posting of the flag was not to push any political affiliation, but rather to encourage historical and contemporary discussion about our student rights.”
Principal Jodie Diers of Central High School was livid over the prank. Other students, Stoneburner told the Examiner, claimed she was angrily yelling to have the flag pulled down when she first saw it. According to Stoneburner,
I was called in (by a no less than livid, screaming principal), told I was “not welcome” at Central, and my diploma and transcripts were held until after my graduation walk. She also confiscated my flag.
After both were returned to him he felt that he could go public with the story.
The irony, Stoneburner wrote, is that “The principal admitted that I had broken no law, policy, or rule. So my property was confiscated without due process.”
Further, he writes:
“I pushed the envelope to the line, but didn’t cross it, and the principal wrongfully and without base, used her power for personal revenge. I let previous things like this slide, but it’s time to speak up and make this go viral. Administrators all over the US are excising power that they do not have over students and other adults. Students are being taught to obey baseless authority and to never question anything. Is that the real message we want to be sending our children, who are the future of this country?”
Indeed, people all over this country—not just teachers and administrators in the public schools—are encouraged by the leftist government-media complex to react without thinking, to exhibit outrage, anger, and to condemn actions which contradict the approved narrative or question it’s authority.
In that sense, the principal was only doing what she had been trained to do. Yet that’s not what generations of Americans have stood for. Americans have always questioned government; that’s why we are no longer a colony of Great Britain.
The Gadsden flag was an important part of that questioning and of the Revolution that freed us from British tyranny. The header picture to this article is a diagram from an 1885 schoolbook describing several early American flags of the revolutionary period. In his Facebook post, Stoneburner notes
The Gadsden flag has almost an identical history to the American flag, and was born from a very patriotic cause, and it’s suddenly a “slap in the face.” This shows the ignorance and misinformation of the people in power over our children. History like this used to be taught in schools all over the United States, and now not even most adults, let alone high school age people know what this flag stands for.
The flag was designed by Col. Christopher Gadsden of South Carolina who represented his state in the Continental Congress. In December 1775, Commodore Esek Hopkins, the newly appointed commander-in-chief of the Navy, received the yellow rattlesnake flag from Gadsden to serve as the distinctive personal standard of his flagship. It was displayed at the mainmast.
The flag was also used by the U.S. Marines and in more recent times, by the U.S. Army. Since 9-11, the U.S. Navy has flown the First Navy Jack, a related flag depicting a rattlesnake on a field of red and white stripes.
Always a symbol of resistance to tyranny, the Gadsden flag has been popular at Tea Party rallies. Does that make it “political”? Of course. It has always been political, always a symbol of the independent spirit of America.
Don’t tread on my Gadsden Flag. The rattlesnake faces left.
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