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Posted 3/17/15 (Tue)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

Many Americans were shocked and outraged to learn that on March 3, the American flag came down from the campus lobby at the University of California Irvine (UCI). The rationale for the decision to remove the U.S. flag, as well as all other flags from the lobby was the brain child of a student government association, which on a 6-4-2 vote, ruled that it was necessary to remove the American flag in order to preserve cultural inclusivity.
In other words, the fate of whether or not the American flag would be in the campus lobby was held in the hands of just 10 students. Their thought process in removing the U.S. flag was that it had been flown “in instances of colonialism and imperialism,” and that the sight of Old Glory just might hurt the feelings of illegal aliens.
Fortunately, the 10-member association’s decision was quickly overturned two days later by the executive cabinet of the Associated Students organization and the college administrators began a hasty process of damage control.
So while the American flag is once again being displayed in the campus lobby at UCI, one has to question just how far our colleges and universities should be going to be so “culturally sensitive and all-inclusive” that students are failing to realize that they are attending college in the greatest nation on Earth.
It’s great that American colleges are welcoming in some of the brightest students in the world, but when these students enroll at our bastions of higher education shouldn’t they be informed that they are our guests. And while we welcome their culture and their ideas and provide them with a opportunity to voice their opinions, even when those opinions couldn’t be publicly spoken in their home country, this is the United States.
And in the United States, our flag is as important to us as their national flag is to those 10 students.
To Americans, our flag is our symbol of liberty, not a flag of imperialism and colonialism. We know the difference because we were once a colony of England and had to fight a bloody war against the strongest military at that time to win our independence. And we fought a war amongst ourselves to eliminate slavery.
The American flag, contrary to what these unknowledgeable students were led to believe, has led hundreds of thousands of U.S. GIs into battles that we didn’t want to be in. We went to war twice in Europe to help preserve freedom. For decades, our soldiers and Old Glory have answered freedom’s call around the world.
Yes, the United States has made its share of mistakes. Every country has. But if you look at the people who are trying to get into this county, both legally and illegally, we must be doing something right.
Apparently that is a lesson that college students aren’t hearing enough about from our college professors. Because if that lesson was being taught to every student in this nation’s colleges and universities, the miscue by those 10 students, no matter their nationality, would never have happened.
The Stars and Stripes needs to fly proudly and freely all across this country as a symbol of the liberties and freedoms this country offers.