Last Thursday the ASUCI Legislative Council voted 6-4-2 to ban the display of the American flag in the ASUCI lobby. This triggered a huge backlash among students opposed to the measure and received national media attention. UCI administration immediately went into damage control mode, releasing a statement that these students were “misguided” and that this decision was in no way supported by campus leadership. Chancellor Gillman promptly followed up, lamenting how it is “inevitable” when you get a bunch of “young people” together that some of them will occasionally express views that are “unconventional and even outrageous.” “It was outrageous and indefensible,” he exclaimed “that they would question the appropriateness of displaying the American flag on this great campus.”
Where on earth could these “misguided” students have gotten such an “outrageous” idea? Where are they getting their guidance from? Could it be from the administration constantly suffocating the student body with statements about how we need to enhance our “diversity” and “inclusivity?” Could it be their complete failure to identify and champion American values in any meaningful way? Let’s take a closer look.
Mr. Gallo’s response is spot on.
My only quibble is this:
I believe the flag is an uncompromising tribute to our honored veterans and our fallen soldiers who sacrificed so much to secure the fragile liberty which we have been so fortunate to inherit.
While that’s true, I also believe it is insufficient, and part of the thinking that lead to the ill informed attempt to ban the flag. The flag should not merely be identified with veterans and war. It is the symbol of our entire nation, and our ideals, the vast majority of which I think are outside the scope of war or even service.
The very fundamental precept of the United States is a recognition of the dignity and rights of the citizen. Those members of the ASUCI Legislative Council who are concerned about diversity and inclusion should be celebrating a flag that symbolizes our commitment to the very ideals they cherish.