Update at 10:52 a.m.: In an email sent to parents Tuesday, Fort Collins High School Principal Mark Eversole apologized that ban of "Merica Monday" was seen as unpatriotic. He said administrators felt "Merica" is a slang term "often used in a negative stereotypical way to describe life in the United States. This is what led us to discuss alternatives with students."

My Country Monday, the first alternative to "Merica Day," has been changed to America Day.

FORT COLLINS - A small but vocal group of adults and children braved Tuesday's cold to protest Fort Collins High School administrators' decision to ban "'Merica Day," which students saw as an opportunity to celebrate patriotism.

The story has made headlines across the country, drawing sharp criticism and outrage from many who believe students should be allowed to show support of their country. Administrators later OK'd the students' compromise to the spirit day theme in "My Country Monday," which Principal Mark Eversole thought was a good way for students to demonstrate pride in their country of origin.

Protesters first gathered early Tuesday morning along Timberline Road outside the entrance to the school. By 9 a.m., the group grew to about a dozen "'Merica Day" supporters waving American flags sipping on coffee delivered by McDonald's employees.

"Isn't it a shame that we can celebrate Cinco de Mayo but not our country? It's tragic," said Fort Collins resident Jim Winerbrener.

As he crossed Timberline, flag in hand, John Primsky hollered at those who had already gathered: "Look at all these proud Americans."

He said he moved to Colorado to live "the American experience." "If you don't stand for something, you don't stand for anything," he said.

Fort Collins native Johnna Wise talked with her three young boys about what the stars and stripes on the American flag represent. She thought it important to teach her sons "what our country stands for."

Read the full story on the Fort Collins Coloradoan:

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