Flag Controversy Continues In Floyd County

By Angela Sparkman | 

Some say it symbolizes hate, others say it symbolizes pride. Now some are saying they should be able to take the rebel flag wherever they want.

Allen Central will face the David School Friday night on the basketball court, but it's all that's happening off the court that community members are talking about.

School officials said Thursday no Allen Central students or faculty will be promoting the rebel flag at the game Friday night, but they can't stop other fans from bringing it into the gym.

The game between Allen Central and the David School will be on the court, but the action might in the stands.

"It's not the best atmosphere," said David School Head Coach Ned Pillersdorf.

Pillersdorf said last year, Allen Central students waived a rebel flag near their bench.

"I feel the use of a large confederate flag displayed close to a racially integrated team, which our team is, is the form of taunting and it has no place in high school basketball," Pillersdorf said.

"We have no evidence it took place. We don't have that perception," said Floyd County Superintendent Dr. Paul Fanning.

Floyd County school administrators disagree on the taunting accusations, but say they're doing what they can to protect David students this year. They say the school won't promote the rebel flag at the game.

"The rebel flag has not been on the floor since last year at a tournament at another school site," Dr. Fanning said.

But Dr. Fanning says they can't prohibit other fans from bringing flags or signs.

"That's their choice, they're decision. We recognize it's somebody's constitutional standards that we have to observe," Dr. Fanning said.

David School players and coaches didn't even want to play this game because of the confederate flag presence, but David School principals told them they had to play. The coaches are pleased Allen Central students may not waive the flag this year.

"Which I think it's a positive step. It makes me feel good about the courageous stand my players took," Pillersdorf said.

Both sides hope Friday night will be about basketball and not controversy.

The game starts at 7:00 pm, doors open around 6:30 pm, and police will be there in case there are any problems.