Student Wins Free Speech Conflict with School Over Gadsden Patch

( – In a victory over his school, a Colorado student will be allowed to continue displaying the Gadsden flag patch on his backpack.

The victory comes after a viral video that was shared by Libertas Institute president and education expert Connor Boyack on Aug. 28 showing 12-year-old Jaiden being removed from class as a result of the patch.

In the video, an administrator of the Vanguard Charter School, Jaiden, and his mother, discuss Jaiden’s dismissal from class. The administrator states that the patch is “disruptive to the classroom environment” as it has “origins with slavery” which is why the school does not want it displayed.

Jaiden’s mother states that the flag “has nothing to do with slavery.” She adds that the flag was “displayed when they were fighting the British.”

Christopher Gadsden designed the flag during the American Revolution. It was used as a symbol of the 13 colonies’ fight against the tyrannical rule of the British. It features the words “Don’t tread on me” below a coiled rattlesnake.

The flag is now sometimes used as a representation of individual rights over the government. It is sometimes associated with the Libertarian as well as Tea Party movements.

Boyack then shared an email exchange with the Vanguard School Director of Operations Jeff Yocum who stated why the Gadsden flag is not an acceptable symbol.

In response to the viral video, the Vanguard School Board of Directors held an emergency meeting.

Boyak then shared a screenshot of the decision made by the Board of Directors for the Vanguard School that allows Jaiden to have the “Gadsden flag patch visible on his backpack” while at school.

In its statement, the Board of Directors for the Vanguard School said it recognizes the flag’s “historical significance” as well as “its place in history.”

On social media, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who is a Democrat, called the Gadsen flag “a proud symbol of the American Revolution.” He added that it was used as a message to “not to violate the liberties of Americans.”

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