Inside Higher Ed
March 13th, 2015
The push by some student government members at the University of
California at Irvine to ban the U.S. flag from the student government
office areas -- though unsuccessful -- has attracted widespread
criticism. Many have noted that the flag symbolizes American ideas of
equality and freedom of expression, and have objected to the views of
those student government members that the flag is a sign of imperialism
and hate. But much of the criticism of the students has also been of the
"America -- love it or leave it" variety, and the students behind the
measure have received rude e-mail and threats.
In response, some faculty members are circulating a petition
expressing support for the students. "We write to support the six
members who offered the resolution to remove national flags from the
ASUCI lobby," the petition states.
"The university ought to respect their political position and meet its
obligation to protect and promote their safety. The resolution
recognized that nationalism, including U.S. nationalism, often
contributes to racism and xenophobia, and that the paraphernalia of
nationalism is in fact often used to intimidate. This is a more or less
uncontroversial scholarly point, and in practice the resolution has
drawn admiration nationally from much of the academic community."