Teacher’s painting of Trump wrapped in flag gets president’s approval, but backlash online

Teacher Austin Boyd and his painting of Pres. Donald Trump (Source: Baldwin County Public Schools)

GULF SHORES, AL (WKRG) — A work of art by a Gulf Shores teacher has drawn praise from the White House but criticism from some people on social media.

Austin Boyd, a visual arts teacher at Gulf Shores High School, paints portraits of subjects as part of his lesson plan.

His most recent work, a portrait of Donald Trump draped in the American flag, got the attention of President Donald Trump himself. Boyd sent the work to President Trump, who then sent back a signed letter applauding Boyd for being an innovative teacher and thanking for him sending the painting.

In the letter, President Trump called it “fantastic” and said Boyd did a beautiful job.

When Baldwin County Public Schools shared the story on Facebook, the post received a number of negative comments. Some people criticized Boyd for the presidential subject matter. Others were offended by the depiction of the flag.

Boyd told our affiliate WKRG on Tuesday he was shocked at first, but then pointed out this is what art is supposed to do — elicit emotion.

He responded to the Facebook post to point out that he also sent a painting to President Barack Obama. Other subjects have included Kid Rock, Ellen DeGeneres and Dabo Sweeney.

Baldwin County Public Schools deleted the negative comments and edited the post to say the page “will not be used to bash students or our employees.”

Not all of the comments were negative. The post has more than 200 comments, many of which are to congratulate Boyd for his work of art.

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