The American flag, the flag of the United States of America, is flown over every government institution. As a grade school student, I remember the daily morning raising of the flag ceremony and reciting the pledge of allegiance with my classmates.
Who would ever suggest that it not be displayed? Especially at a government funded educational institution? Well, they did. And they did it at UCI, which is located in the 37th Senate District.
On Saturday we posted the following on the campaign’s Facebook page:
"It is unfortunate when certain student leaders on a state campus, subsidized with the taxpayer dollars of California’s residents, decide to ban the American flag. I hope that this act of disrespect is overturned by UCI’s student government’s executive committee today." – John Moorlach
Fortunately, the executive committee did overturn the decision. The student government’s full body will have another debate this evening. Let’s hope that common sense prevails and this effort to do something that is so counter-intuitive to the belief systems of the taxpayers that fund UCI’s annual budget will be dropped.
OC Legislators Seek Constitutional Amendment Prohibiting Colleges from Banning Flags
Last week UCI students tried to ban the U.S. flag. Lawmakers are responding by supporting an amendment banning such bans at public schools.
Several Orange County Republican legislators announced their support today for a proposed constitutional amendment that would prohibit state-funded universities and colleges from banning the U.S. flag, as some student government representatives at UC Irvine tried to do last week.
The executive branch of the student government on Saturday vetoed the proposal that would have banned flags from any country in student government offices on the UCI campus. The student government’s legislative branch voted in favor of the ban Thursday.
The legislative and executive branches will discuss the proposal at 5 p.m. Tuesday, allowing 105 minutes for public comment. Overriding the executive branch’s veto would require a two-thirds majority of the legislative branch.
At a news conference today, multiple state lawmakers decried the ban, including Senate Republican leader Bob Huff, R-Brea, Assembly Republican leader Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, as well as Orange County state Sens. Janet Nguyen, R- Santa Ana, and Patricia Bates, R-San Juan Capistrano, and Assemblymen Matt Harper, R-Costa Mesa, Don Wagner, R-Tustin, and Bill Brough, R-San Juan Capistrano.
“I came to this country as an immigrant searching for freedom and democracy and I would not be here today if it were not for the American flag,” Nguyen said.
Pointing to several veterans who attended the news conference, Nguyen said, “The veterans that are with us here today and the thousands of servicemen and women fighting throughout the world deserve for us to make every effort to ensure that the American flag is proudly displayed at public universities and colleges throughout California. That is why we have introduced this Senate constitutional amendment.”
Huff said the flag is “more than just the symbol for our country. It’s a reminder to all of us that the freedoms we enjoy in a society like ours are not free. They were bought and paid for by the sacrifice of others. The flag is a symbol of this freedom. Where this flag flies, freedom lives.”
Wagner noted that more than 2.5 million men and women have died in combat “to defend the American flag, and the values and ideals associated with it.”
Wagner’s opponent in March 17 state Senate special election, former Supervisor John Moorlach, said he was supportive of the effort.
“This is what we do. We have the flag displayed, so when someone says, ‘Let’s not do that,’ it’s so counter-intuitive,” Moorlach told City News Service.
The author of the student government legislation, Matthew Guevara, did not comment on the veto, but said the issue would be debated again Tuesday.
UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman posted a statement online responding to the proposal, saying it was “inevitable” at a university the size of UCI that some students would “express views that are unconventional and even outrageous.”
Gillman said it was “outrageous and indefensible that (the students who voted for the ban) would question the appropriateness of displaying the American flag on this great campus.”
Gillman lauded the executive branch for its veto.
“We are an institution created by the world’s greatest democracy in order to serve this democracy, and we feel privileged to be able to serve the cause of freedom and progress under the American flag,” Gillman said.
“Make no mistake: the American flag proudly flies throughout the University of California Irvine, including outside my office window, and will continue to do so.”
The student bill listed multiple reasons for banning the flags, including they promote “nationalistic sentiments,” and characterized them as “cultural artifacts.”
The bill went on to read, “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.”
The students also cited “American exceptionalism and superiority,” and said that the country’s flag “has been flown in instances of colonialism and imperialism.”
The aim of the legislation appeared to be to foster a “culturally inclusive space” in the student government offices.
- City News Service
This e-mail was sent by the Moorlach for Senate campaign — www.MoorlachforSenate.com