Tahlequah student’s flag sparks first-amendment dispute

Posted: Friday, April 27, 2012

Tahlequah student’s flag sparks first-amendment dispute
By Steve Berg

Tahlequah, Okla. —

A 17-year-old Tahlequah student’s Confederate flag has prompted a possible legal battle over first-amendment rights.

The student, Matthew Newcomb, decided about two months ago to start flying the flag from his pickup truck, said his mom Michelle Armstrong.

But she says the school told him he couldn’t display it on school property.


She then contacted the Oklahoma chapter of the ACLU, which has agreed to take up the case.

The ACLU has asked the school to provide a legal basis for its decision to prohibit the flag, said Oklahoma ACLU Executive Director Ryan Kiesel.

He says they’re waiting for a response from the school and will then decide how to proceed from there.

To many, the Confederate flag symbolizes slavery and bigotry, but Armstrong says there are more aspects to its history that have been overlooked of forgotten.

As an example, she says the Cherokees who were based in Tahlequah at the time of the Civil War fought on the side of the Confederacy.

Beyond that, she said its important to her to teach her son to stand up for his constitutional rights.

"I would hope that our educational system and those people who have been hired to educate our children would be more concerned about THAT, the education of our children that what they wear on their bodies or fly from their vehicles," Armstrong said.

© 2012 Cox Media Group

On The Web:   http://www.krmg.com/news/news/local/tahlequah-students-flag-sparks-first-amendment-dis/nMkG2/


By |2012-05-01T13:53:45+00:00May 1st, 2012|News|Comments Off on News 2571