Flag returns to Hampshire College

Judith QuinnDec 03, 2016

For the first time in three weeks, Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts raised an American flag on campus.

In a viral Facebook argument Rowe posted Wednesday, he took Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and its president, Jonathan Lash, to task for lowering Old Glory in the wake of Donald Trump's presidential election victory last month.

Hampshire's President says none of its actions were about politics.

"Ha! Absolutely not", Hampshire College spokesperson John Courtmanche told TheWrap when we asked if the segment had anything to do with the decision. In the end, I think we caused a lot of pain to people who legitimately hold the flag as a representation of their highest aspirations and it ended up with a situation in which people at the school were feeling genuinely threatened. The flag was found burned on Veterans Day, and the school chose to stop flying it - and any other flags - a week later. The move prompted a wave of outside protests by veterans, The Globe reported.

Hampshire president Jonathan Lash insisted that was not the intention of the college, and that lowering the flag was "meant as an expression of grief over the violent deaths being suffered in this country and globally, including the many US service members who have lost their lives".

"I can't see a compelling reason for a private or public institution to not find a way to fly the flag."

Lash at the time denied that the decision to lower the flag was not meant to serve as a commentary on the results of the presidential election.

Initially, Lash announced that the flag would be flown at half-staff at Hampshire for the campus to "express grief over the violent deaths being suffered in this country and globally".

He mentioned that as he watched TV and switched channels back and forth, he saw several college students setting fire to the American flag. "All of our students, faculty, and staff have been invited to contribute their opinions, questions, and perspectives about the US flag".

Flying the flag at half-staff "was meant as an expression of grief over the violent deaths being suffered in this country and globally, including the many USA service members who have lost their lives", Lash said. In response, Lash stated that he would not raise the flag again (for the foreseeable future) to "focus our efforts on addressing racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and behaviors". We believe in it, we will continue this work on campus, and we will look for ways to engage with our neighbors in the wider community.

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