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Student wears American flag for high school photo—principal rejects photo

Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane, WA has rejected a senior photo of a student because, according to the principal, the American flag was "used as a prop."

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Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane, WA has rejected a senior photo of a student because, according to the principal, the American flag was "used as a prop."

Sierra Athos appears in the photo draped in the flag, as can be seen in the title photo of this article. The school's principal, Marybeth Smith, considered that it was "not being afforded appropriate regard" and disallowed it.

According to local outlet 10 WBNS, Athos considers the photos to be "patriotic."

"This year is already crappy enough because there is no prom, no homecoming, no dances, no in-person classes, no sports games, no seeing my friends everyday, no any normal high school things. I at least wanted my senior picture of choice in the yearbook, but apparently that was too much to ask," said Athos in a statement to the media.

Smith posted to the school's Facebook page, clarifying that the school has no policy whatsoever banning the American flag in photos. She cited Title Four, Chapter One of the US Code.

"Quick point of clarification regarding senior pix. We do not and have not banned the American flag from inclusion in photos. In the past we have celebrated students who have enlisted in the military by using senior photos highlighting their branch of service - student in uniform and US flag displayed behind them. It’s been an honor to portray our seniors in this way.

We have rejected a photo this year in which our American flag was displayed in a way not sanctioned by Title Four, US Code, Chapter One.

We say the Pledge daily during school, we have our flag displayed in accordance with Code guidelines on our stage during all school events and we even have one of the largest US flags in this area in our gym - it is celebrated during the playing of our National Anthem prior to athletic competitions held there. We respect our flag as much as any school in the area and were concerned that in the photo submitted it was being used as a prop in the photo and was not being afforded appropriate regard."

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