In a fast-moving and fascinating story, 12-year-old Jaiden from Colorado Springs triumphed in his stand for free speech and personal expression. The middle schooler was initially ousted from The Vanguard School for adorning his backpack with a patch of the Gadsden flag. School officials alleged that the flag had its “origins in slavery,” a claim that raised eyebrows and sparked a nationwide conversation.
The confrontation came to light when Jaiden’s mother recorded a meeting with the school director. In it, she pointed out the flag’s actual origins: “Yeah, it has nothing to do with slavery, that’s like the Revolutionary War patch that was displayed when they were fighting the British.”
The Gadsden flag was designed during America’s struggle for independence. Its iconic rattlesnake and the motto “Don’t Tread On Me” symbolize resistance against tyrannical rule — not an endorsement of slavery as the school hastily claimed. Jaiden’s facial expression became an instant meme on social media, a symbolic stand against false narratives, especially those peddled by educational institutions.
If you're wondering why Jaiden would be kicked out of school
Or why the teacher would do so?
This is why…
The FBI views the gadsden flag as a symbol of domestic violent extremism. That memo undoubtedly got sent out to the schools pic.twitter.com/HLuqVCUxF5
— Liberty Lockdown w/ Clint Russell (@LibertyLockPod) August 29, 2023
Jaiden wasn’t fighting alone. Two law firms offered pro bono legal assistance, and even Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) weighed in. On the X platform, formerly known as Twitter, he defended the Gadsden flag as “a proud symbol of the American revolution.”
Jaiden WINS !!! He gets to keep Gadsden flag on Backpack … the same as his crazy teacher gets to keep these crap stickers on her car. pic.twitter.com/k6CFqnK9hg
— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) August 30, 2023
Bending under pressure, the school board hastily convened an emergency meeting and reversed its stance. “From Vanguard’s founding, we have proudly supported our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the ordered liberty that all Americans have enjoyed for almost 250 years,” read a part of their statement. They recognized the “historical significance of the Gadsden flag” and gave Jaiden the green light to return to school with his patch in place.
— Connor Boyack 📚 (@cboyack) August 30, 2023
It’s crucial to highlight the role of public scrutiny in this victory. “Had Jaiden’s mom not recorded the video, this wouldn’t have got nearly the attention that it did,” wrote Connor Boyack, president of the Libertas Institute in Utah, on the X platform. This incident provides yet another example of how vigilance by ordinary citizens can yield real results.
Jaiden’s strong stand shows that many young Americans are keenly aware of their constitutional rights. They’re willing to stand up, not just for their personal beliefs, but for the principles that underpin this great nation. And when they do, it becomes a teachable moment for all, including, ironically, the educational institutions themselves.