California High School Changes Its Mind About Whether Students Can Paint an American Flag for a Fundraising Auction


A San Diego high school reversed its decision to deny approval to students seeking to paint an American flag on purchasable parking spots for a fundraising auction, local outlet CBS 8 reported.

A group of students at Granite Hills High School wanted to paint American flags on their parking spaces that are auctioned off as part of a program for senior students to raise money for school programs, Fox News reported.

The district originally denied the students’ designs, citing concerns over whether it was “appropriate treatment of the flag” to paint it on the ground.

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“I wanted to do an American flag because I love representing my country,” said Dane Gilbert, a senior at Granite Hills High School, CBS 8 reported.

“I love my country, and red, white and blue are my favorite colors.”

“I got pretty upset about it because I love my country and I like to represent it everywhere I can,” Dane said.

“They said, wait on it because of flag code and other veterans in the school [were] not liking that the flag was on the ground.”

Was the high school wrong to ban students from painting the American flag on a parking spot?

An average spot can go for $300 or $400. Seniors are allowed to do the painting once their design is approved, CBS 8 reported.

“The idea that Granite Hills High School, at any point in this process, intended to censor their students’ patriotism rather than celebrate it is a gross mischaracterization of the facts,” Grossmont Union High School District said in a statement to Fox News Thursday.

“Principal Fowler described his pride in the ‘six patriotic Granite Hills seniors who wish(ed) to express their deep love of our country by painting the American flag on their parking spot.’”

Dane’s mother was angry when she heard her son was prohibited from painting a flag on his parking spot at first, CBS 8 reported.

“Immediate anger set in and it wasn’t a good conversation, I can tell you that,” Wendy Gilbert said.

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“No American citizen or anybody should have to ask permission to show their patriotism in this country. This flag means freedom and nobody can take that away from us.”

The school district consulted local veterans’ perspectives on the American flag being painted on the ground, asking “whether they believed our seniors’ painting of the American flag on their parking spot would be honoring and respectful toward our flag and the men and women who have fought and given the last full measure of devotion to ensure that our flag will forever fly and represent the land of the free and the home of the brave,” Fox News reported.

“I told her immediately that I didn’t have any disagreement with it,” Tom Dorsey with the VFW Post 2275 in El Cajon, California, told CBS 8.

“I thought it was great that there are six young patriots out at Granite Hills High School that are proud to display the American flag.”

With the opinions of the VFW in mind, the school’s principal told parents Monday that the American flag designs could be done, CBS 8 reported.

“Oh, it was great,” said Dane. “On my birthday and it was a great birthday present.”

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