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High school sends note banning the American flag at pep rally, but wait until you hear why

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Just another story of a school banning the display of American flags?

While students at a New Hampshire high school were banned from using American flags during an upcoming pep rally, school administrators say the outcry over the policy is unwarranted.

Londonderry High School faced backlash after issuing guidelines to student athletes for participating in the pep rally as one of the directives set off students and parents alike, WMUR-TV reported.

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“No use of the American flag. Do not wear, carry, present the American flag on the floor,” or risk being reported to coaches for violation, read the rule.

“We’ve had a lot of questions from parents and community members, and this a community that has a considerable tradition of patriotism,” Londonderry school district superintendent Scott Laliberte told WMUR.

Laliberte issued a statement clarifying that the rule wasn’t intended to ban the flag, but to respect it.

“At previous rallies, some students have included (the flag) as part of an outfit allowing the flag to drag on the ground. The email was simply meant to avoid repeating any inadvertent disrespect of our nation’s flag,” the statement said, citing the American Legion Flag Code.

School officials recalled past incidents as when one student wore a flag as a cape.

“And when he sat down, he sat down on it. So we had to walk over and say, ‘No you need to pick it up. We need to fold it appropriately and put it away,” pep rally advisor Steven Juster said.

Principal Jason Parent explained that it was the desire to follow proper conduct and “out of reverence for the flag” that the letter explaining the rules was sent to the students.

Parents were notified by email about the school’s stance and that “obviously we’re patriotic and spirited,” the principal said. “It’s just that in this forum, we wanted the flag to be respected.”

He noted that the incident was a “learning lesson” for the school which proudly displays flags throughout its hallways.

Displaying the flag and singing the national anthem will be included in the upcoming pep rally, Laliberte said.

“Students are welcomed to bring American flags to the rally, so long as they are displayed with the respect that is deserved and articulated in the American Legion Flag Code,” he said in a statement.

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Frieda Powers

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