Students Arrive to School in a Caravan of Old Glory in Defiance of Principal's Flag Ban


A certain death has come to those who cannot find a spot of warmth in their heart for the well-meaning teenage rebel.

We’re not talking full-on Marlon Brando, “Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?”/”What have you got?”-style rebellion. (Not that there isn’t something to be said for that sort, in small doses.)

We’re talking about Ferris Bueller here. Maybe Donnie Darko at the margins. Ren McCormack in “Footloose.” Olive Penderghast in “Easy A.” The kind of character who, in the face of some combination of power-hungry high school apparatchiks, self-absorbed parents and malevolent anthropomorphic rabbits of unknown origin (“Donnie Darko” only), manages to strike a blow for a certain kind of freedom from arbitrary rules and the draconian punishments visited upon those who transgressed them.

The reason people love such movies is that they know these authority figures all-too-well and either wouldn’t have dared to transgress them during high school, or did and found out that John Hughes usually doesn’t write the ending.

There’s also the fact that, in this day and age, it’d be difficult for any of these characters to exist. We’ve seen helicopter parents and how they work. Remember the opening scene in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” when he talks about how he never fakes a phony fever because that’s a one-way ticket to the doctor’s office? Well, anything else is these days, too — and even if everything is OK, as it invariably is, they’ll probably FaceTime you throughout the day or, even worse, bring you into work with them.

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On occasion, however, it seems that a student and/or students are able to end up with that perfect third act in real life.

In Franklin County, Virginia, we have some upstanding young Americans who would be getting a movie deal now if they hadn’t been standing up for Old Glory. That still just makes it cooler.

According to Virginia-based cable channel BTW21, a mother of one of the students at Franklin County High School said it began with her son realizing he was getting in trouble.

Do you think students should be able to fly the American flag on their vehicles?

“My son called me from school saying that he saw an administrator around his truck and is now being called to the office,” she said.

The woman said her son and two of his friends were told they could no longer fly American flags on their vehicles because it was “offensive” and “disruptive.”

That was Monday of last week. On Tuesday, this is what happened:

That is, from what we can gather, a convoy showing the kind of support that Old Glory got in just 24 hours. If they thought they had “offensive” and “disruptive” before, they got a lot more of it in just 24 hours. More goodness:

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A lot of you were hearing “The Star-Spangled Banner” over this, I was, too, but I was also hearing “Footloose” and thinking of all John Lithgow’s scowling in that movie.

And by golly, the students seem to have gotten their happy ending.

BTW21 reported the boy’s mother said “she received a call from the school principal Jon Crutchfield on that evening.”

“He has apologized to the boys and told them that it is not against the rules to fly their flag on their truck,” she said. “Apparently, it was a big misunderstanding that should have never gotten this far.”

The story is continuing to updated slowly, so the details might change. BTW21 and The Western Journal have both reached out to the Franklin County Public Schools Administration but did not receive a response.

For right now, however, it looks like the script played out for our high school rebels as it was supposed to.

The good guys won. Petty rules were defeated. Kids can continue to fly the flag. And who’s to say the stars and stripes can’t have a Hollywood ending?

After all, you can forget sometimes, but remember what flag flies over Hollywood — no matter how much it may irk Californians.

CORRECTION, Feb. 14, 2020: When originally published, The Western Journal incorrectly attributed the line from “The Wild One” cited in the second paragraph to James Dean. The line was spoken by Marlon Brando, as an observant reader pointed out. We apologize for the error.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture