-- A South Carolina high school will allow a student to keep an American flag mounted on his truck, after a school official sparked protests by telling him to remove it, citing school policy.
Peyton Robinson, 18, had driven to York Comprehensive High School Wednesday with the American flag and another flag mounted behind the cab of his pickup truck, according to local reports.
“[The school official] was like, ‘We’re having people say stuff about your flag and I just wanted to ask you to take it down,’" Robinson told ABC News’ affiliate WSOC.
Robinson told local media that by the time he went outside to his truck, the flags were still there but had already been taken down by someone else.
"It just kind of upset me and aggravated me," Robinson told WSOC.
When reached by ABC News via Facebook message, Robinson said he was in school and would not be available to comment immediately.
According to Maria Duncan, the school district’s director of human resources, the policy doesn't have to do with patriotism, but rather concern that large flags could "possibly obstruct vision of other cars,” particularly considering the school's location on a four-lane highway.
“We asked students not to fly flags, period, in the parking lot of the high school because it is a safety issue,” Duncan said today. “It has nothing to do with the American flag.”
The school’s principal, Christopher Black, told WSOC: “Anytime you get a flag of any kind flying, it creates a visual distraction.”
But things changed on Thursday after students, parents and veterans protested the school’s decision -- with more than 70 vehicles waving flags and honking horns.
School officials eventually put out this statement: “Due to the outstanding display of patriotism through peaceful demonstration, it is apparent to us that many are not happy about this policy," the statement said. "School officials have reviewed the standing policy regarding flags and have decided that an exception will be made for the American flag, as long as the size of the flag(s) does not create a driving hazard."
Said Duncan, “It’s been a teachable moment for our students and a good opportunity to show how things can be resolved.”