Confederate Flag Controversy - My9 New Jersey

Confederate Flag Controversy

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Hamilton, New Jersey (MY9NJ) - Greg Vied is a 17 year-old Puerto Rican high school student on a quest for his first amendment rights, but he’s doing it by strapping a big red and blue Confederate Battle Flag that says “redneck” to his blue pickup truck.

Vied also has the words “redneck Cadillac” written on the back of the truck, and on the front side of the truck it says “hate me yet?”

Vied said he’s had the flag up on his truck since he got it back in January, but it’s only caused a problem for him at school over the past week.

You see, Vied originally got suspended, but then the school got a letter from the ACLU advocating that they should uphold Vied’s first amendments rights, and so the suspension ended.

“They said that it was offending some people, but they didn't tell me who it was offending or how many people were offended and I told them that I still wasn’t gonna take it down. It was my first amendment right to have the flag up and I was gonna keep it up until I graduate,” Vied explained.

Greg’s mom, Lisa Martinez, confirms that this is not a case of bigotry.

“We're not bigoted at all in this house. I’m gay. His sister's gay. I’m Puerto Rican,” she said.

Martinez says that it’s actually Steinert High School that has made turned this into a race issue, when in fact it’s really about Greg’s father, Brad Vied, who had the nickname “redneck” and also carried a Confederate Flag on his truck. She says this is just her son’s way of following in his footsteps. Brad Vied died of a heart attack 4 years ago at the age of 41.

Greg says that it has nothing to do with white supremacy ideology because he thinks they’d be the first to reject him.

“I wouldn't even be allowed in, I’m a Puerto Rican so there's no way I can be associated with the Ku Klux Klan,” Vied explained.

Vied has won his battle against the school and continues to drive his pickup truck to classes with the flag blowing in the wind.

This is a very sensitive issue because many African Americans feel the Confederate Flag represents a time when the south was trying to secede from the north so that they can maintain slavery, but that is not how Vied views it.

Do you think Vied should be able to display the confederate flag on his truck?


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