A controversial American flag bearing the image of President Barack Obama was quietly removed from a Texas classroom and dismissed by the school district as bad flag etiquette with no political undertones.
Diane Boyett, communications director for the Victoria Independent School District in southeast Texas, estimated the flag was up for about a week at Stroman Middle School before the principal became aware of it and took it down Thursday.
“It was removed as soon as the principal got the first email about it, she went to the classroom, she looked and she removed it,” Boyett told TheBlaze Friday afternoon.
She said the flag was displayed in a disciplinary classroom reserved for in-school suspensions and used by “very few students.” She said she didn’t know how many students saw it, but estimated the number would be very low given the recent start of the school year.
Boyett said the school district received six emails in total complaining about the flag, most of which seemed to be copied in whole or in part from the same form letter and didn’t have valid email addresses to respond to.
U.S. flag code states the flag must never bear “any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.”
“The teacher was thinking it was a commemorative piece for the inauguration for the president,” Boyett said. “[She meant] absolutely meant no disrespect.”
Asked whether displaying such an image of the president was inappropriate at a public school, Boyett said no.
“I don’t believe that having a picture of the president of the United States is political,” she said, just as putting up images of George Washington or John F. Kennedy would not be political.
Boyett said Stroman Middle School plans to use the incident to teach students about proper flag etiquette.
“We’re going to take this as a teaching tool and the students at the school on Monday will be receiving a lesson on flag code, flag respect and what the flag actually means,” she said. “We try to turn everything into a teaching opportunity.”