Hampshire College in western Massachusetts made headlines recently when it made a decision to no longer fly the American flag on campus. That did not sit well with many Americans, particularly veterans, and a crowd of them showed up to the campus on Sunday to protest.
The flag controversy at Hampshire started just after the election of Donald Trump. In apparent response to Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton, someone burned the American flag that regularly flew at the center of the school’s campus. Hampshire’s first response was to replace the flag, but fly it only at half-staff in a symbolic effort “to acknowledge the grief and pain experienced by so many and to enable the full complexity of voices and experiences to be heard.”
Well, that didn’t go over particularly well. There was an angry response to the school’s approach to how the flag would be replaced, so it decided to stop flying the flag altogether.
That really hasn’t gone over well.
CBS Boston reports that hundreds of veterans and supporters who want to see the flag fly again at Hampshire showed up to campus on Sunday and made their feelings known.
“I would die for this flag. I fought for it. I live for it. You all live for it,” said one protesting vet.
The veterans were joined by Springfield, Mass. Mayor Domenic Sarno in a show of solidarity.
“I wanted to be here to stand with our cherished veterans and ‘old glory.’ it’s because of our veterans and many who have given the ultimate sacrifice and their families that we’re able to lead the lives we lead, because of your efforts. The same goes for Hampshire College. No matter what way you think or not think. It is because of our veterans,” said Mayor Sarno.
For the time being, however, the flag will remain out of sight at Hampshire, according to school president Jonathan Lash.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large