Monday, August 3, 2015

After LOTS of complaints, Alaskan University Restores Mississippi Flag to Display after Taking it Down

According to University of Alaska-Fairbanks Chancellor Brian Rogers::

  • A national discussion of Confederacy symbols, including the Confederate battle flag, began last month following the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting. Earlier this month, the South Carolina legislature approved the removal of the flag from display at the state Capitol.
    Many people see the flag as a symbol of racism, as a continuing reminder of the enslavement of African Americans in the American South in the 19th century. Others see it as symbol of their Southern heritage.
    The Confederate battle flag is a part of the Mississippi state flag. Last week, the Mississippi flag was removed from a display of state flags in Juneau, which joined a growing list of cities that decided not to fly the flag. The Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives joined other leaders in calling for the flag to be changed, saying “… our state’s flag has become a point of offense that needs to be removed.”
    After the Juneau decision, I decided to remove the Mississippi flag from the display of state flags in Cornerstone Plaza. I made the decision because I thought it was inappropriate for a campus that values diversity to display a flag that many see as a symbol of racism. This is not an issue of individual freedom of speech; any individual can express their opinions on this campus. The flags in Cornerstone Plaza are displayed by the institution, not an individual.
    People have strong opinions on both sides of this issue. The tone and content of some of the responses I received this week have convinced me that it is in the best interest of UAF to return the Mississippi flag to the Circle of Flags, but I do so reluctantly. I encourage members of the campus community to continue a reasoned dialogue on symbols and other manifestations of racism in our community and throughout the United States. I hope that similar discussions nationwide will help the Mississippi Speaker be successful in his efforts to change their state flag. --FaceBook