Nov. 25 (UPI) -- An Arizona high school student who has been banned from flying the Confederate flag while on campus says that it is his right to display the controversial symbol.
Jacob Green had been displaying the flag on his truck while driving to Millennium High School for six months, until a couple of weeks ago when he got into a fight with another student about it.
"I've done nothing wrong," Green said. "I've flown a flag on my truck…somebody fought me because of it. I didn't fight him. I was walking around like a normal person. He confronted me, he hit me first…I was defending myself. I'm not a racist person."
Both students were suspended for five days and Green was told he couldn't bring his flag on campus.
"Basically, they're taking away my First Amendment right of freedom of speech," Green said.
The school says it can limit that right when it infringes upon the safety of students.
"Open display... bringing it in... it has been proven to be patently offensive to certain groups and the courts recognize that," said Agua Fria Unified School District Superintendent Dennis Runyan. "Obviously there was some event that took place it was related to reaction to the flag and it did create an environment where it was disruptive."
Green doesn’t find the history of the flag and to be offensive.
"Well, the flag means basically more independence, less government. It didn't mean racism, it didn't mean slavery, it didn't mean any of that. It basically meant what they were fighting for was their right to be independent and not have the government control them,” Green said.
"I'm not gonna take the flag off my truck for somebody telling me to do it," he added. "I believe in independence. That's something I want to do independently."