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Confederate Flag Touches Off Controversy At Farmington High School

Created: 1/26/2007

(KSDK) - Bryce Archambo's supporters spoke out on his behalf Friday night across the street from Farmington High School.

On Sept. 27, Bryce, 14, was sent to the school office because of his attire, the day after he was told not to wear a hat displaying the confederate flag.

"I had a hat shirt and belt buckle. The shirt said, 'Rebel born, rebel bred, I'll be a rebel 'til the day I'm dead,' said Archambo. He was also wearing a hat that said the same thing.

When Archambo refused to change clothes, his parents picked him up and removed him from school.

Archambo and his parents have filed a lawsuit against the school district claiming his constitutional rights were violated.

"I think a person should have the right to wear whatever they want, whatever it is. I'm not going to ask somebody to change a shirt if they have a Malcolm X shirt."

Among those supporting Archambo is H.K. Edgerton, the former president of the Asheville, N.C., branch of the NAACP.

Edgerton says the Confederate flag represents the accomplishments of not only whites, but blacks who lived in the south during the Civil War.

"Not just the ones who went off and fought and built bridges but what about those who stayed at home? What about all those women who went to those gunpowder factories that look like me?" said Edgerton, who is African-American.

What Archambo calls his heritage, others see as a symbol of slavery and segregation.

Tony Caruthers, a senior at Farmington High School, is the child of a Caucasian mother and an African-American father. He has openly protested Archambo's efforts to wear the flag of the Confederacy.

"I'm personally offended because it hurts my family when they see it and I believe it's inappropriate."

Archambo is being home-schooled. Legal proceedings will begin at the end of February.

Archambo said if he wins his case he plans on returning to Farmington High School.

District officials could not be immediately reached for comment Friday night.