Oregon case: Is a Confederate flag free speech?

Oregon case: Is a Confederate flag free speech?
This March 2, 2011 file photo shows school bus driver Ken Webber, 28, at his home in Medford, Ore. A school bus company being sued by Webber, who was fired for refusing to take a Confederate battle flag emblazoned with the word "Redneck" off his pickup truck while parked on school property, has asked a judge to dismiss the case, arguing the flag does not amount to free speech protected by the U.S. Constitution. First Student Inc. filed the motion for summary judgment Monday, Nov. 14, 2011 in U.S. District Court in Medford. The company says Ken Webber, who drove a bus carrying students in the Phoenix-Talent School District, considered the flag an expression of his identity and lifestyle, not his feelings on politics, race or racism. (AP Photo/The Medford Mail Tribune, Bob Pennell, File)

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A school bus company being sued by a driver fired for refusing to take a Confederate battle flag emblazoned with the word "Redneck" off his pickup truck while parked on school property has asked a judge to dismiss the case, arguing the flag does not amount to free speech protected by the U.S. Constitution.

First Student Inc. filed the motion for summary judgment Monday in U.S. District Court in Medford.

The company says Ken Webber, who drove a bus carrying students in the Phoenix-Talent School District, considered the flag an expression of his identity and lifestyle, not his feelings on politics, race or racism.

Webber's lawyer, Tom Boardman, says that even as an expression of lifestyle, the flag amounts to protected speech.

Webber filed the lawsuit to regain his job.

 

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press