Oregon bill requires all schools to display Old Glory

SALEM — The Oregon Legislature is requiring all schools to display the American flag in their classrooms.

In a 51-6 vote on Thursday, the House approved the bill sending it to Gov. John Kitzhaber. A spokeswoman says he's expected to sign it.

Public schools already are required to fly the flag, but it was unclear if the rule applies to charter schools.

The original bill, proposed by Rep. Sal Esquivel, R-Medford, would have required schools to lead students in a daily recital of the Pledge of Allegiance. Lawmakers backed off that proposal after civil-rights advocates said it would impose on students' free-speech rights.

Supporters say it encourages patriotism. The original idea for the bill came from a Rogue River High School student, Chandler Cort.

Esquivel took Cort's idea and expanded on it to include the flag requirement after he saw that flags were not being displayed in classrooms in Medford's Madrone Trail Charter School.

Existing state law requires schools to give students the opportunity to say the Pledge of Allegiance at least once a week.

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