CINCINNATI, Ohio — A high school has suspended two football players from the team after they defied administrators by carrying flags at the start of a game that signal support of law enforcement.

Video shows the players for Ohio’s Little Miami High School led their teammates in running onto the field at the home game Friday, the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Monday.

They carried flags colored with a blue stripe and red stripe that signal support for police and other law enforcement.

“While we understand these students’ desire show their support of our first responders, they did not obtain permission from district officials,” Little Miami Local Schools said in a statement to Fox19. “Administrators must act when students break the rules.”

The school said a ceremony held before the game honored the people killed in the 9/11 attacks.

The superintendent, Gregory Power, told WKRC-TV he has received hate messages by email and voicemail since announcing the suspension of the two players.