Virginia’s longstanding love affair with the Confederate flag knows no bounds. And in what should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, a school board in Rocky Mount has ruled that yes, the rebel flag will still be welcomed with open arms in the district’s updated dress code.
WRCB has the scoop:
The Franklin County School Board in Rocky Mount, Virginia, voted 7-1 on Monday against formally writing a ban on the Confederate flag into the dress code. The board cited Tinker v. Des Moines, a 1969 case that ruled students were allowed to wear black armbands to protest the Vietnam War and did not lose their right to free expression, even while attending school.
“In Franklin County, we do not have any documented cases of a substantial disruption caused by the Confederate flag,” Julie Nix, chair of the Franklin County School Board, said. “Therefore it would not be appropriate to ban the Confederate flag and violate a student’s First Amendment rights. Should it become a problem in the future, we would consider a ban.”
Does the Civil War count as a documented case of substantial disruption caused by the Confederate flag? Asking for a friend.
If you’re nosy like me and wondering, “Which brave soul ensured that the vote wasn’t unanimous?” then today’s your lucky day because I know the answer. That would be Penny Blue, the only black person on the board, who, like anyone else with an iota of common sense, insists that the Confederate flag is basically the Bat-Signal of white supremacy.
“When we see the Confederate flag, that tells us, ‘Do not enter. We are not welcome,’” she said. “It means the N-word, rape, lynchings, all of those things.”
In her quest to protect the district’s learning environment by banning the flag, Blue is in for a major uphill battle with seemingly few allies. But even though only eight percent of Franklin County is black, in comparison to the 87 percent that’s white, don’t expect her to ever take her foot off the school board’s neck.
“I am not through until I get this done,” she said.