Company asks dismissal of Confederate flag case



MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — A school bus company has asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a driver fired for refusing to take a Confederate battle flag off his pickup truck while parked on school property.

A lawyer for First Student Inc. argued Thursday that the flag was an expression of driver Ken Webber’s “redneck” lifestyle, and not free speech protected by the U.S. Constitution. The flag is emblazoned with the word “redneck.”

The company fired Webber last year after he refused an order from the Phoenix-Talent School District to take the flag off his truck or park off school grounds.

Webber’s lawyer argued that even as an expression of lifestyle, the flag amounts to protected speech.

Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke didn’t say when he would make a decision.