Connect with us

U.S. News

High School Won’t Allow Student to Display American Flag



Clear Facts:

  • Christopher Hartless, a Virginia student, has been pulled out of Staunton River High School by his parents after refusing to remove large American flags from his truck.
  • The school emphasizes the rule exists due to the flags’ potentially “distractive nature” and concerns over student safety.
  • While the school remains firm on its policy, the student and his family continue to uphold their stance on expressing First Amendment rights.

Controversy has erupted at a Virginia high school where parents have decided to pull their son from classes due to a school policy which prohibits the display of large American flags from vehicles.

Christopher Hartless, a student at Staunton River High School in Bedford County, found himself in the eye of the storm after the school revoked his parking pass.

The decision followed his refusal to take down the prominent American flags that adorned the back of his pickup truck.

According to WSET 13, Hartless argued that he’s merely upholding his First Amendment rights by displaying the flags. His sentiments were strongly backed by his stepmother, Christina Kingery.

Hartless’s family took the stand that unless he was permitted to exhibit the flags, homeschooling would be their chosen path.

Speaking on his motivation, Hartless expressed, “My family fought for America, and I feel like I should be able to represent the flag that they fought for.”

While the issue was gaining traction, the school decided to circulate a weekend memo. This appeared to be an indirect response to the ongoing situation.

The notification highlighted, “Large flags or banners are not allowed to be flown or displayed on vehicles due to their distractive nature.”

They also clarified that this rule has been part and parcel of the student parking contract for several years across all three of the county’s high schools.


Furthermore, the school emphasized that parents and students provide their consent to this policy when they apply for a school parking pass.

However, Hartless voiced his disagreement with the rule. He raised the question of how the flags could be seen as a distraction, especially when “every other student can see” the American flag flown on the school’s flagpole.

Nevertheless, Hartless defied the directive and, on a particular Monday, arrived at school with the flags still flying high. This act led to the school reiterating their order to remove the flags and subsequently revoking his parking pass.

Supporting her stepson, Kingery conveyed to the media, “If they’re willing to change and let kids want to fly the American flag, then I’ll put him back in Staunton River … possibly put him back in Staunton River.”

However, she firmly added, “But if they don’t, then I’m going to continue to let him fly his flags.”

Addressing the controversy, the Bedford County school system clarified their stance to ABC 13. They underscored that the central issue was student safety and potential distractions caused to other drivers by large banners or flags.

However, they added that students could display “small American flags or stickers of the American flag on their cars.”

The school administrators emphasized the prior agreement on the parking rules and ended by stating they do not typically comment on individual student disciplinary actions.


Interestingly, the school’s policy does not restrict students from wearing clothing that depicts the American flag.

We want to know what you think! Share your thoughts in the comments below.




  1. Frank

    August 27, 2023 at 4:00 pm

    As long as the rule applies to all large flags it’s fine


      August 28, 2023 at 7:45 am

      This is the United States of America, numerous patriots have given their life for that flag and it should be displayed everywhere in any size, God Bless America

      • Muffin

        August 28, 2023 at 5:38 pm

        100% right.

    • NavVet

      August 28, 2023 at 8:59 am

      Wrong FRANK. That is the flag that myself and many others fought to defend as well as the constitution it represents. Try learning the laws. By the way, it is more dangerous to have hats in the windshield blocking vision than showing pride in ones country.

      • Jeremy

        August 28, 2023 at 3:54 pm

        I retired from the Navy, and I agree that if this policy was specifically in place to prevent the display the American flag it would be horrible. However, the school does display the flag throughout the property and allows kids to display it on their vehicles in the form of stickers and smaller flags. The policy in question is intended to prevent large waving pieces of cloth from distracting inexperienced drivers in a crowded parking lot. Those of us who served voluntarily put ourselves in harms way to defend our country, our flag, our families, and the rights of others whether we agree with them or not. High school kids did not volunteer to be run over in the parking lot by some kid who was distracted by a large colorful flag.

        Please read the whole article and not just the headline.

  2. Phil Latio

    August 28, 2023 at 7:44 am

    Russian flag would be fine.

  3. Colby Goodson

    August 28, 2023 at 7:50 am

    I am sure they would love a Ukrainian flag flown!

  4. iitywybad

    August 28, 2023 at 8:26 am

    I wonder if they would enforce their rule if the flags were the LGBTQ+1 rainbow flags? I would have been tempted to take the United States flag off my truck and replace them with pride flags one (1) inch smaller and test their credibility on the flag rule.

  5. NavVet

    August 28, 2023 at 9:09 am

    That school board is showing their dislike and hatred for America by doing this. If you consider it a distraction then remove the one from you flag pole. May be you are so involved in WOKE that you forget the flag gave thousands the courage to continue their battles for freedom in this country. I guess you forgot the civil war and the hundreds who died protecting this country and their rights. Then please, do not remember the 7 % of Americans who fought for the FLAG and to defend the freedoms of those they did not even know. God bless America and may OLD GLORY always fly, even if you do not want it to. Disabled veteran US Navy 65-71. HANG YOUR HEADS IN SHAME.

    • Al McClung

      August 28, 2023 at 4:04 pm

      As a member of a military family, I agree with you 110%!!!

  6. Roger Kirkland

    August 28, 2023 at 9:27 am

    Unless the flags on the vehicle are prohibited by the State or Federal DOT, the school should have ZERO say in it being allowed.

  7. LMB

    August 28, 2023 at 9:32 am

    The school’s administration and the school board need to be recalled and replaced with American Patriots!!! They could compromise with putting his parking space at a nearby corner of the parking lot where only flag-carrying vehicles can park there!
    There is a way to address this so the kids and the school win!!!

  8. Allen Lough

    August 28, 2023 at 10:54 am

    It is simply a power issue. You give some person of little self esteem and low moral character a bit of authority, and that person will make every effort to ensure that EVERYONE sees just how important and powerful he or she is. It is the only way they have to validate their self important status. All it really does is show how small minded and ignorant they are when it comes to FREEDOM and INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY. Power and Control are they tyrant’s mantra. Mass civil disobedience is the most effective counter measure. This boy and his family are doing exactly the right thing. However, a good sympathetic attorney should also be sought out for legal remedy. You can not advertise away a Constitutionally protected civil right with a parking permit rule book!


    August 28, 2023 at 11:02 am


  10. David Seres

    August 28, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    My rhetorical question here is, “Why is the flag a distraction?” I confess that when I saw the word “distraction” in this article, my first thought had 2 related aspects: (1) the school did not want to display an American flag because of it’s “woke” stance, and (2) the school couched that wokeness with the word “distraction”. If the “distraction” is that others will be merely emotionally bothered/upset by the sight of the American flag – AND if that emotional effect might lead to physical confrontation – then it emotionally disturbs ME that merely displaying a love for country could be considered with such disdain…

    I would not be happy if an LGBTQ+/rainbow flag were similarly displayed – but I would respect 1st Amendment rights to do so…

    If this issue ultimately came down to wokeness, and if the school persisted in preventing the display of the American flag, (as a parent) I would first issue a public statement about 1st Amendment rights and my feeling about love of country – and immediately place my child in a DIFFERENT school that permits such display…

    Again, if this issue ultimately came down to wokeness, as a person born in 1960, a school rule such as this could have been considered highly inappropriate enough so as to cause emotional disturbance/physical confrontation by those who appreciated/fought for our country (including to uphold/preserve 1st Amendment rights)…

    If the school can offer a reasonable explanation for its rule that is not related to wokeness (etc.), then OK…again, the coupling of the word “distraction” with the display of the American flag does not sit right with me…

  11. Bill V

    August 28, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    Too many of my friends were draped in OUR flag coming home. The school officials should be proud of our flag. If they are not, they should go to that other county of their choice. This country needs people we can count on. If people are distracted by and do not have pride in our flag, then they do not have pride in being in this great country. It is questionable if they are a team player and can be counted on in time of our need.

  12. Bill

    August 28, 2023 at 3:56 pm

    The Supreme Ct. already ruled on this and students rights. I would get a good attorney and sue the board for their actions collectively and as single members.

  13. robert w sanders

    August 28, 2023 at 5:11 pm


  14. Donald N. Baker

    August 28, 2023 at 6:21 pm

    Sue the school.

  15. KBB

    September 26, 2023 at 2:29 am

    They also clarified that this rule has been part and parcel of the student parking contract for several years across all three of the county’s high schools.
    Well, it’s a stooopid rule and should be removed from the rules list. This is just more kowtowing to liberals. The school wants total control, that’s the only reason for the “rule”, just like the current gov’t does.

  16. Michael Morrow

    September 26, 2023 at 6:23 pm

    To whom is it a distraction?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *