GOODYEAR, Ariz. (CBS Las Vegas) — A student has been banned from displaying the Confederate flag on his truck while on school grounds.
Jacob Green, a junior at Millennium High School in Goodyear, Ariz., told KSAZ-TV that he had no problem flying the Confederate flag on his truck while driving to school until he was confronted by another student two weeks ago.
“I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve flown a flag on my truck. Somebody fought me because of it,” Green told KSAZ. “I didn’t fight him. I was walking around like a normal person. He confronted me, he hit me first. I was defending myself.”
Green and the other student were both suspended for five days following the fight.
Green, who says he is not a racist, believes the Confederate flag means freedom.
“The flag means basically more independence, less government,” Green told KSAZ. “It didn’t mean racism, it didn’t mean slavery, it didn’t mean any of that. It basically meant what they were fighting for was their right to be independent and not have the government control them.”
The school district called the flag offensive and said schools can limit students’ rights while they are on campus.
“It has been proven to be patently offensive to certain groups and the courts recognize that,” Dennis Runyan, superintendent for the Agua Fria Unified School District, told KSAZ. “Obviously there was some event that took place it was related to reaction to the flag and it did create an environment where it was disruptive.”
Green said he will not let the school force him to take the flag off his car.
“I’m not going to take the flag off my truck for somebody telling me to do it. I believe in independence. That’s something I want to do independently,” he told KSAZ.
Green’s parents believe the attack against their son was a hate crime and say he should be allowed to fly the flag on his vehicle at school.