Shawn Stevens is nothing but a good old 12 year-old boy. An American boy. He has a touch of autism, but he's American, and that's what matters. He's a young man who just wanted to carry a flag. An American flag. The stars and stripes. The banner of freedom. A simple desire to hold Old Glory in his very own hands. To carry that flag around, at the school, that taxpayers paid for, to let everyone know that the American dream lives. It lives in the mind of a boy. An American boy. Named Shawn Stevens.

But. There's always a but, isn't there? This nation wasn't built on ease and cheese. It was built on a billion buts, each of which had to be overcome by patriotic Americans just like young Shawn Stevens. So: but. It seems that Old Glory—like the Ten Commandments, like properly borne firearms, like God Himself—wasn't welcome in Shawn Stevens' secular school classroom. Sex Ed? Sure, tell em everything. Anything goes. But the star spangled banner? Can't have that, no.

So they took away Shawn Stevens' flag.

They took it away, like The Redcoats and the Indians and the Krauts and the Viet Cong all tried to take it away. Secular teacher-crats said that "its pointed end could have been used as a weapon," and they took that American boy's flag and locked it away in a drawer somewhere, along with his hopes and dreams and innocence and love for the Constitution and the Founding Fathers. It was a "concern for safety," they said. They, the government bureaucrats, were scared—scared of the ideas that that flag might give to young Shawn Stevens. Ideas like "liberty" and "honor" and "the books of Ayn Rand." Ideas that don't sit well with some folks. Ideas that the liberal teachers unions can't understand. Even though a 12 year-old boy sure can.

When Shawn was asked why he brought the flag to school, he told Foster's he was trying to rebuild patriotism.

"You don't have to die for your country, you just have to support it," he said.

You just have to support it. That's all. Simple enough for a 12 year-old to grasp. To grasp like the end of a stick, attached to a fluttering banner of liberty that's fanned the flames of freedom for generation upon ever-greater generation. Young Shawn Stevens supports his country. And no secular liberal teacher can ever take that away from him.

They can only take away his ability to stab the shit out of his classmates.

[Foster's Daily Democrat via AP. Photo: Flickr]