Photo of senior posing with American flag not ‘in accordance with code guidelines,’ Spokane principal says

American flag yearbook photo Spokane
Photo courtesy: Sierra Athos

SPOKANE, Wash. — A student at Lewis and Clark High School was told she could not pose with the American flag for her yearbook photo. Now, the principal of the school is responding.

RELATED: Spokane student’s senior photo with American flag rejected from school yearbook

The school’s yearbook has a new policy this year that prohibits props from being included in the student portraits. However, LC’s principal Marybeth Smith says at issue is the manner 17-year-old Sierra Athos displayed the flag in the photos.

VIDEO: Flag photo rejected for yearbook

Smith posted her response on the school’s Facebook page Wednesday to clarify the senior picture policy.

“We do not and have not banned the American flag from inclusion in photos,” Smith said. “In the past we have celebrated students who have enlisted in the military by using senior photos highlighting their branch of service – student in uniform and US flag displayed behind them. It’s been an honor to portray our seniors in this way.”

Smith went on to say the photo was rejected because it was displayed in a way not sanctioned by Title Four, US Code, Chapter One.

“We say the Pledge daily during school, we have our flag displayed in accordance with Code guidelines on our stage during all school events and we even have one of the largest US flags in this area in our gym – it is celebrated during the playing of our National Anthem prior to athletic competitions held there. We respect our flag as much as any school in the area and were concerned that in the photo submitted it was being used as a prop in the photo and was not being afforded appropriate regard,” Smith said.

Smith said the school continues to work through the issue with the student.