Bus company asks to dismiss Confederate flag case

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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.