Not too many days ago, Jaiden Rodriguez stood up with no one behind him but his mom – not his school friends and definitely not the administrators of the school, who wanted to suspend him for wearing a Gadsden flag patch on his backpack.
But a lot changed in a few days since the school surrendered after the 12-year-old Colorado boy’s fight for his principles went viral through a video of his mother trying to explain to a school official that the symbol of resistance to British tyranny in the Revolutionary War was not, as the school claimed, a banner supporting slavery.
And now, country music star John Rich reached out on social media to tell the boy he has friends everywhere.
“Hey Jaiden, stay strong! Tell your principal to give me a call,” Rich posted on social media.
“Hey, Jaiden. John Rich here. We got your back, son. We’re proud of you. You stay strong, keep being a patriot. God bless,” Rich said in the brief video posted to social media that showed the singer raising a Gadsden flag to fly underneath an American flag.
Hey Jaiden, stay strong! Tell your principal to give me a call:) 👇 pic.twitter.com/dFGV7F2eVM
— John Rich🇺🇸 (@johnrich) August 31, 2023
Jaiden has said the change from being punished to praised as a patriot led to changes in some attitudes at his school because students who shunned him at lunch were now his pals.
“But the teachers, on the other hand — I got some dirty looks, that’s for sure. They’re definitely not happy with me,” he said in a video released on social media.
Jaiden speaks! He’s so grateful for all the support you’ve all shown. 🇺🇸💪🏼🎉 pic.twitter.com/pyW9pzsic2
— Connor Boyack 📚 (@cboyack) August 30, 2023
Jaiden’s mother, who schooled a school official about the flag, said she never expected what took place.
“I was like, ‘This is wild, that this is happening. Is this America?'” Eden Rodriguez told KOAA-TV.
“I do want him to stand up for his rights and (not) say ‘bow down to the government.’ It’s been a tough call, to just let him do what he wants and say he’s at that age to make his own decisions,” she said.
“I’m proud that he just chose the hard route. We didn’t know it would pay off. We didn’t know that he wouldn’t get kicked out today. It was very stressful,” Rodriguez said.
This was the video that sparked all the attention. pic.twitter.com/bXkptIUApW
— Jaiden Rodriguez (@jrodgadsen) August 30, 2023
In an Op-Ed on The Blaze, Jason Whitlock said the school official who equated the flag with slavey “suffers post-traumatic history dysphoria, a mental illness common among feminists and racial justice warriors.”
“The demonization of the past is a grift. It legitimizes reparations. And it provokes alleged educators to believe any symbol that originated before last week was a byproduct of slavery and systemic racism,” he wrote.
In an Op-Ed about the incident in the New York Post, James Bovard said the flag, a revered symbol of opposition to tyranny, became “tainted” after it was visible in protests against the Obama administration.
“The real objection by officialdom is to the flag’s message: ‘Don’t Tread on Me,’” he wrote.
Bovard said the flag is a symbol of freedom, not violence.
“Permitting Wokesters to turn the Gadsden flag into the moral equivalent of the Nazi swastika will only encourage more demolitions of American heritage. That flag will be needed as long as politicians keep trying to trample Americans’ liberties,” he wrote.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.