University of California, Irvine, student Matthew Guevara introduced a resolution to his student government association proposing that all American flags be removed from part of the school’s campus and henceforth banned from that area. A portion of the resolution reads: “flags construct paradigms of conformity and sets homogenized standards for others to obtain which in this country typically are idolized as freedom, equality, and democracy.”
How dare Americans value freedom, equality, and democracy? The fact that Guevara wants to do away with the traditional values of freedom, equality, and democracy, seems contradictory to his stated goal: making that portion of campus as inclusive as possible. He says his aim is to make that section of campus safe and welcoming, for anybody of any nationality, religion, or sexual orientation, and that some students might be offended or hurt by it’s image, since our flag “has been flown in instances of colonialism and imperialism.”
Perhaps it has not occured to Guevara that his school is located in the United States of America. One must wonder, would he be offended if he were to travel to Italy and see an Italian flag? Or to Algeria, and see an Algerian flag? It is also of note that the resolution he presented did not make mention of any complaints about the flag other than his own, nor did he bring up one instance of an actual student being offended by the flags presence during many interviews.
Shockingly, the bill passed. Thankfully, it was vetoed. The UCI Student Executive Council took a vote and quickly knocked out the ban on American flags. The UCISEC allowed common sense and logic to prevail, and penned a well-thought-out rebuttal in which they defended American freedoms. As the UCISEC was quick to point out, the ideals the flag represents- freedom of speech, democracy, right to assemble- are the very same rights which allow their student council to operate and to discuss and debate any issues they please.
The American flags will remain.