The Associated Students of UC Irvine’s Executive Board has vetoed the flag-ban bylaw after six undergraduates of the ASUCI’s legislative board voted yesterday, March 6, to remove the US flag – and any other flag – from their lobby. Citing that the flag purportedly symbolizes “colonialism and imperialism,” the body voted to ban the showing of it in the UC Irvine student area.
Campus Reform made a statement on their student website of how the ban all started:
The bill, Resolution 50-70, was authored by Social Ecology Representative Matthew Guevara, and accuses all flags, especially, the American flag, of being “symbols of patriotism or weapons for nationalism.”
“[F]lags construct paradigms of conformity and sets [sic] homogenized standards for others to obtain which in this country typically are idolized as freedom, equality, and democracy,” the bill reads.
The anti-flag hanging bill adds that free speech, such as flags in inclusive spaces, can be interpreted as hate speech.
After just one day, the bill sparked a national debate on social media. Kristen Finstad of Twitter, and a student at UC Irvine, posted that she felt “embarrassed” by the 6-4 vote yesterday.
“The American flag banned from UC Irvine campus,” Finstad said. “So embarrassed of the direction this country is going in.”
Although it was vetoed, the news has hit some California legislators hard enough that they’re considering a constitutional amendment to disallow universities from banning the American flag.
Mt. San Antonio College Associated Student President Chris Nguyen gave his opinion on the whole situation. “I was kind of furious. I’m a huge advocate for America because my family here. So it’s a total slap to my face to put the American flag down. It’s pretty much our pride, our independence. Being it taken down, I thought that was just shameful.”
The ASUCI Executive Cabinet made a statement that, under Article V, Section B, Sub-Section 2 of the ASUCI Constitution, given in the right situation, they had six days from when the bill was passed to veto it. If no decision was made within the six days by the Executive Cabinet, the “measure” shall become legislation.
“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,” ASUCI Executives stated on their student website. “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.
More information to come soon.