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UC-Irvine Students Ban American Flag on Campus – Previously Truth! Now Resolved!

UC-Irvine Students Ban American Flag on Campus – Previously Truth! Now Resolved!

Summary of eRumor:  

The American flag has been banned from the UC-Irvine campus.

The Truth:

 

This one was true, but it has been resolved.

UC-Irvine’s student government passed a resolution that would have banned all national flags — including the American flag — in the lobby of student government offices because some students find them offensive.

The Executive Cabinet of the Associated Students of UC-Irvine (ASUCI), the university’s student government, vetoed it in less than a week. 

The resolution said that the flags should be taken down because “designing a culturally inclusive space is taken seriously by ASUCI.” The resolution went on to talk about how people view the symbolism of flags differently:

“Whereas 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.

“Whereas symbolism is interpreted differently by different groups or persons based on individual unique experiences.

“Whereas a common ideological understanding of the United states includes American exceptionalism and superiority.

“Whereas the American flag is commonly flown in government public service locations, military related entities, at homes, in foreign lands where the U.S. government has a presence.

“Whereas the American flag has been flown in instances of colonialism and imperialism.

“Whereas symbolism has negative and positive aspects that are interpreted differently by individuals.

“Whereas displaying a flag does not express only selective aspects of its symbolism but the entire spectrum of its interpretation.

“Whereas designing a culturally inclusive space is taken seriously by ASUCI.”

UC-Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman said the university’s administration “swiftly, strongly and publicly denounced the action.” Gillman continued:

“Importantly, UCI students also immediately began to express their disappointment and outrage at the actions of these six students. Our elected student body president condemned the action, calling the decision ‘horrible’ and ‘an attack on American values.’ Those news organizations that sought a truthful account of the issue, and that interviewed UCI students, found one student after another saying that the views of these six did not represent the students at UCI.”

The ASUCI Executive Cabinet vetoed the resolution on March 8, 2015, and said that it was “counter to the ideals” of the university:

“We fundamentally disagree with the actions taken by ASUCI Legislative Council and their passage of R50-70 as counter to the ideals that allow us to operate as an autonomous student government organization with the freedoms of speech and expression associated with it. It is these very symbols that represent our constitutional rights that have allowed for our representative creation and our ability to openly debate all ranges of issues and pay tribute to how those liberties were attained.”

Matthew Guevara, a student in the university’s school of social ecology, wrote the resolution.  Six members of the ASUCI Legislative Council approved it. Four members voted against it, and two weren’t there for the vote.

The effort to ban flags from UC-Irvine’s student government offices drew national media attention. California State Sen. Janet Nguyen (R-Santa Ana) said lawmakers might introduce a constitutional amendment that would prohibit “state-funded universities and college campuses from banning the United States flag,” the Washington Post reports.