Freedom of speech can create a lot of interesting scenarios. Even though the intent is to allow people the right to say what they want without repercussion, there have been — and will be, probably — conflicts over what’s actually being said. This is one of those scenarios — and it starts with an infamous flag.
In line with efforts across the country, Christiansburg High School cracked down on blatant displays of the Confederate flag. Granted the Virginian school had banned wearing the flag more than a decade ago, but it went a step further and banned the display of the flag on vehicles, and would deny students parking passes until they complied. In protest, twenty-four students decided to wear flag-bearing clothing on school property — and twenty-one of them were suspended for a day. The remaining three were only allowed in once they agreed to take off the flags.
The assumption on the schools behalf is that brazenly displaying the flag could mean creating racial tension — and with it, conflict. Meanwhile, the students argued that the flag is simply a flag, and it’s unfair to enact a ban over a harmless symbol. There’s no right answer here, but that only proves the debate is destined to rage on.