The Dickson County School District has decided to ban all flags from pickup trucks on school property. Initial reports had incorrectly stated that the officials had banned all flags at the school, but the district corrected that impression with an email to FOX13.
The school district also posted a statement on its website:
Information reported by news stations that the American Flag has been banned in the Dickson County school system is entirely inaccurate. The Flag is prominently displayed at every school in our county. It is also displayed in many of our classrooms. All students in Dickson County are allowed to voluntarily participate in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance each morning. We are very proud to have JROTC in both of our high schools, and we will continue to fly and respect the flag.
District officials claimed that the ban was not meant to seem unpatriotic, asserting, “It’s not an unpatriotic act by any means because we have a number of ways in which students do learn how to be patriotic and express American pride.”
Arianna Heisler, a senior at the high school, reacted bitterly, telling My Fox Memphis, “I just think that’s a right… it’s freedom of expression and I don’t think you should be able to take that away from us.”
Controversy over the Confederate flag’s existence in the state has been rampant for months. In June, two Democrats in the legislature, Rep. Jason Powell (D-Nashville) and Sen. Sara Kyle (D-Memphis) followed Governor Bill Haslam’s statement that the state should discontinue specialized license plates with the Confederate battle flag by launching a bill to achieve that goal. Powell stated, “The flag is a divisive symbol and point of offense. Tennessee should stop issuing license plates that feature a symbol of hate, oppression and injustice.”
On July 1, some Tennesseans greeted Barack Obama by holding Confederate flags. Obama was at the Stratton Elementary School in Madison to speak about Obamacare. Obama has supported removing the Confederate flag from government grounds across the South.
In Late July, protesters with a Memphis religious group shoveled grass off of Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s grave.