HONOLULU (AP) — Dozens of students at a number of high schools across Hawaii walked out of class in a show of protest against their school flying the state flag beneath the American flag.

Students walked out Thursday morning, advocating that campuses be equipped with two poles so the American flag flies side by side with the Hawaii flag, KITV-TV reported .

Hana High School student Jesiah Malaikini said seeing the Hawaii flag beneath the American one bothered him for years. The junior was suspended alongside a classmate March 14 for switching out positions of the flags during a gun violence protest on campus.

Since then, Malaikini has launched a GoFundMe account to generate money to pay for a second flag pole at Hana High School.

Malaikini said he respects the national flag but wants equal recognition for his home state, citing sensitive historical events such as the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893.

The Department of Education has not yet released a comment.

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Information from: KITV-TV, http://www.kitv.com/index.html