Maryville, Blount County (WVLT) – The issue involving the confederate flag is coming back in Blount County after students at a local high school were ordered to cover up their shirts on Friday with the confederate flag on it.

More than 150 students at William Blount High School have signed a petition seeking support for the right to wear confederate symbols on shirts and other clothing items.

But students who wore the emblem on Friday say they were threatened with suspension if they didn’t cover up.

Some students say they support the right to express their confederate heritage that the school has taken away.

Many students came to school on Friday wearing a confederate symbol but say school officials then threatened them.

"If we didn’t they said that they were going to suspend us, but my friend Bruce, they threatened my friend Bruce that if he didn’t turn his shirt inside out, they were going to take him to juvenile," says Derek Barr, who started the flag petition.

Barr says he hopes to seek more signatures for his petition but says he’s concerned about retaliation from school officials.

Attempts to contact Principal Steve Lafon or Superintendent Alvin Hord were unsuccessful.

The policy may be facing legal action, local Sons of Confederates Camp Commander Ron Jones says they will be assisting the students should a suit be filed against the school system.

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