Flag Fury

by Amanda Folan

In early November, a controversial pattern was taking place at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. The United States Flag-a symbol around every college and school campus in the country-was taken down by this one particular college.

 

After a tug-of-war between lowering the flags to half staff and bringing them up Hampshire College decided to permanently take them down.

 

Between incidences of lowering half staff, burning the flag the dawn before Veteran’s Day, and all the uproar across the country online, it was removing the flag from campus poles that sparked 400 hundred veterans to show up and protest.

 

The incident seems to be a sad reality the country is going though, where one side is oversensitive and the other refuses to make change.

 

Why put so much energy into stripping a flag off the pole that was used to symbolize the courageous men and women who protect us, that served as hope and recovery after the September 11 attacks, that encourages our ability to change and express our opinions? There are far worse flags to fear, ones that do not support the freedom that our own does.

 

The president of Hampshire College claimed the presence of “the American flag is a disruption for some of the people on campus, for whom it represents the experiences they’ve had with racism and injustice, it’s a very frightening symbol,”   

 

Women gained the right to vote, African Americans gained further civil rights, people of all different sexulaities gained marriage rights, the American military fought through dangerous wars all under the American flag. These students are fortunate enough to go to college and be born in a country that is all about having a growth mindset and improving. It is nothing to be ashamed of.

 

After over four hundred veterans showed up to protest and the anger displayed on the internet, the college responded by raising the flag up once again. The question comes up: will it be taken down again? But I have a bigger question, why take it down in the first place? Trying to satisfy a certain group of people is not going to fix a big issue.


As a large and diverse country, it is important to show the world that we can remain united in some way and pass that idea of freedom on to other countries who lack the same freedoms that we are fortunate to have. To keep our flag flowing is showing that we are all still standing, not that we are ignoring the issues occurring in the government.