Hampshire College Raises American Flag AgainBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
Hampshire College recently gained backlash after it banned the U.S. flag from flying in its campus. The announcement was made after the 2016 U.S. election.
It was reported that Hampshire College president Jonathan Lash has deemed the flag as a "disruptive symbol." The administration initially replaced the burned flag, taking to mind the "the strong feelings of those who see the flag as a statement of the best of the country."
However, last month, Lash sent an email to the campus community saying that the flagpole would remain bare until next semester. He also admitted that, with the removal of the flag, the school will instead focus on addressing "racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and behaviors."
"Some months ago, the Hampshire College Board of Trustees adopted a policy of periodically flying the flag at half-staff to mourn deaths from violence around the world," Lash wrote in the email. "Earlier this week, in the current environment of escalating hate-based violence, we made the decision to fly Hampshire's U.S. flag at half-staff for a time while the community delved deeper into the meaning of the flag and its presence on our campus."
He did acknowledge that the action has been painful to faculty and students who are veterans or families of veterans. He urges the community to "insist on diversity, inclusion, and equity from our leaders and in our communities."
According to Reuters, Hampshire College has recently raised the flag again on Friday. President Lash made the announcement.
The decision to ban the American flag in campus came after president-elect Donald Trump won the election. Protesters burned a flag on campus and let another flag fly half-mast for several days, prompting the school to remove it entirely.
"We understand that many who hold the flag as a powerful symbol of national ideals and their highest aspirations for the country, including members of our own community, felt hurt by our decisions, and that we deeply regret," Lash recently said in a statement. "We acted solely to facilitate much-needed dialogue on our campus about how to dismantle the bigotry that is prevalent in our society."