Flag-Waving Fury

Over the past few weeks, this flap over flying the flag at the University of California-Irvine student government center had me seeing red, white and blue.

If you didn’t hear the whole story, here’s the condensed version: At the first of the year, an American flag appeared on the wall at UC-Irvine’s sitting lounge. Instead of serving as the symbol it is intended to be, the students turned it into a symbol of their own power struggle: some students wanted to leave it up and some wanted to take it down.

On March 5, at this public, state- and federally-funded university, the student government’s Legislative Council took a vote. The take-it-down faction won, 6 to 4, passing a resolution banning the display of any flags in the lounge. As young college students are apt to do, they used contrived logic (and misguided humor) to draft the resolution.

On March 7, the student government’s Executive Council swiftly vetoed the resolution. The flag would remain. But by then, news organizations had reported on the story that sparked outrage on the campus, across America, and throughout the world wide web. Even the university chancellor condemned the students and defended the school, pointing out that before, during and after the controversy, the U.S. flag continued to fly on campus. He also stated that UC-Irvine would be erecting more flagpoles and flying Old Glory at the entrance to the campus.

Like many Americans I have strong feelings about our flag and the freedoms and sacrifices it represents. Although the students considered this a “free speech/hate speech issue”, I couldn’t agree more with David L. Goetsch, a former college professor and like-minded patriot in Florida, who wrote a great opinion piece on the debate. He said:

“I am more forbearing than most when it comes to the exigencies of college students being young and dumb, but in all my years of dealing with sometimes naïve, self-righteous, ignorant, and misinformed college students, removing the American flag from an American university financed by American taxpayers and enabled by the sacrifices of American veterans, is just too much to take.”

Thankfully, for every group of ungrateful, unpatriotic individuals like that small group of college students, there are those in our country who exercise their freedom of speech by stopping at nothing to demonstrate their pride for our country and its most important symbol:

Matchmaker Flag House

Wave your freedom flag this weekend,