Cotriss' attorney, David Ates, says her dismissal was in direct violation of her constitutional right to free speech as a private citizen. "She was displaying her pride in her Southern heritage and honoring her recently deceased husband," the lawsuit said. "The Confederate flag [is a] generally accepted symbol of Georgia heritage."
Marana High School in Tucson has banned the Confederate flag from campus, saying its display by a group of students has become a disruption and creates an unwelcoming environment for classmates and staff of color.
The group of students - who have been flying the flags from their vehicles for more than a year - said it represents pride in their Southern heritage and the ban oppresses their right to free speech.
While the protesting students argue that they'd never harassed anyone, school administration said the flag was being used to create a racially charged and aggressive school climate.
Just before the first bell rang at Marana High on Tuesday morning, a group of teens gathered around a pickup truck parked across the street from the school.
They were hanging out across the street and not on school property, at 12000 W. Emigh Road, because of the flag ban. Flying it from the other side of the road - while parked on private property - is a form of civil disobedience, said one of the students, Jesse Lagois, 17.
"We're actually fighting for our rights to express ourselves," he said.
Lagois was leaning against the truck, from which the Confederate flag flapped in the wind. The light-blue GMC also had the word, "redneck" written on the tailgate. The word, the senior said, represents a life of blue-collar workers, country folk and back roads.
To Lagois and his classmates, the flag does not symbolize racism. "It's heritage. It's everything that the South stood for," he said.
Alexis Kring, 16, said she wants to raise awareness of what she considers the real values the Confederate flag represents. The symbols and designs on the flag represent the blood of Christ, protection of God, a Christian cross and the 13 Southern states, the sophomore said.
"We're not standing for the wrong reasons," she said. The message of the Confederate flag, to her and the group, is "through the blood of Christ, the 13 states are united in a Christian fight."
Lagois and his friends say they'd never hurt or harass anyone, nor did any student ever come up to them to contest the flag, though he says he's had soda and food thrown at him. They just want to be able to express their pride in their Southern heritage, he said.
At least 30 people at the school have expressed support, he said. A Facebook page, called "Parents Standing Up for Students Rights," features an image with two pickup trucks flying Confederate flags with the message, "You ain't stopping us."
Jose Mendez, 17, who was part of the group hanging out by the pickup across the street from the school, said their values must be accepted the same way they're expected to accept values they don't agree with.
"We just want to be able to show our values," he said.
Seniors coming to school Tuesday morning said they don't object to flying the Confederate flag on campus. Students have been walking up and down the road waving the flag at oncoming cars and pedestrians, they said.
CALIFORNIA SECESSIONIST OPENS EMBASSY
California secession organizers say they've opened an embassy -- in Moscow
The Republic of California gained an embassy in Russia last weekend, at least in the eyes of those who have promised to seek a statewide vote on secession, nicknamed "Calexit," in 2018.
Louis Marinelli, a San Diego resident who is the leader of the group promoting an effort to turn the state into an independent country , organized the Moscow event. "We want to start laying the groundwork for a dialogue about an independent California joining the United Nations now," he said in an email Monday.
Marinelli is currently working as an English teacher in Russia, and said he is there working on immigration issues related to his wife, who is a Russian national.
The effort faces the longest of odds, requiring not only initial approval by California voters in 2018 but a subsequent special election in 2019. Even if successful then, the proposal would have to pass difficult if not insurmountable legal obstacles.
Marinelli said he's not discouraged by the high hurdles.
"All major social and political movements in this country take time and inevitably have to overcome failures and setbacks before they are ultimately successful," he said.
Yes, there were "libtards" as far back ago as 1907. And one of them cornered John Singleton Mosby. He replied to them as follows:
I am not ashamed that my family were slaveholders. It was our inheritance - Neither am I ashamed that my ancestors were pirates & cattle thieves. People must be judged by the standard of their own age.
If it was right to own slaves as property it was right to fight for it. I am not ashamed of having fought on the side of slavery - a soldier fights for his country - right or wrong - he is not responsible for the political merits of the cause he fights in. The South was my country.
Mosby fought out of patriotism. The South was his country, and he fought for his country. There is no ambiguity there.
When the US started the draft to fill the ranks during the Viet Nam War, most soldiers wouldn't even know where that Asian country was on the map, much less know the political merits of the war itself. There would come a popular backlash against the war, as many people came to decide the war wasn't "worth it." The US government eventually had to find to have "peace with honor." Many Americans went from not knowing what the war was about, to hating what the war was about. But again, what do you think the average soldier knew, or didn't know, about the 'political merits?'
The same could be said for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Were there Weapons of Mass Destruction? Did the President LIE to the world to get us into that war? Should that determine the way we treat the veterans of those wars - or Vietnam - or any other war?
The average soldier, be they a Vietnam Vet, an Iraq War vet, or a Confederate Vet fought out of patriotism for his country.