Foreign flags shouldn't fly at U.S. public institutions

I do not understand why the UNM administration would apologize to the Mexican consulate for someone having taken down and torn up the Mexican flag. That pandering offended me more than the flag being torn up.

Isn't this the U.S.? Isn't the American flag the one that should hang in front of buildings here? Why was the Mexican flag allowed to be hoisted in the first place? This is not Mexico, and I, for one, was offended that it was flying on the campus in the first place. I really do not care where you are from or what you celebrate, but just because it might offend someone, does not make it right to hang another country's flag on a public school campus.

I agree that the fellow who tore the flag might have been misguided, but he was right. The place for a Mexican flag or, for that matter, any other country's flag, is not at the top of a flagpole at a public institution in the United States. If you are here, in the U.S., in New Mexico, then you are in the U.S. and have to respect our country.

If you do not want to respect this country, problems and all, then it is fine to move to the country of your choice. But as a taxpaying citizen of this country, I do not want any other country's flag flying on a public school campus. I am a liberal Democrat, but these are fighting words.

Apologize to Mexico? I believe the apology is due to the citizens of this state. This has nothing to do with hate crimes or not liking someone. This is about standing together as Americans and realizing how precious our freedoms are and how hard many people fought in order to keep those freedoms for all of us. I do not want to live in Mexico or any other country, but if I did, I would not expect them to allow me to remove their flag and hang mine. Respect goes both ways.

Cleaning American Flags For Free

If you have an American flag you'd like to clean, Gold Star Cleaners is offering to do it for free.

The company has always offered the service at no charge since it opened in 1904. Current owner, Eric Pooler, says not many people knew about it so he decided to put up signs at all eight locations. The signs have been up for a few weeks and he's seen a few flags since then. Gold Star will clean any size American flag.

Pooler says if you bring a flag in in the morning you can get it back later that day. If you bring a bunch of flags it may take a few days longer.

High School Bans American Flag

SAMPSON COUNTY, N.C. – On the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, students at one high school were not allowed to wear clothes with an American flag.
Under a new school rule, students at Hobbton High School are not allowed to wear items with flags, from any country, including the United States.
The new rule stems from a controversy over students wearing shirts bearing flags of other countries.
Gayle Langston said her daughter, Jessica, was told to remove her Stars and Stripes t-shirt.
Today she wanted to wear her shirt, and I had to tell her no,” said Langston. “She didn't like it at all because I knew it would get her in trouble. Of all days, 9/11, she could not wear her American Flag shirt.”
The superintendent of schools in Sampson County calls the situation unfortunate, but says educators didn’t want to be forced to pick and choose which flags should be permissible.

Lack of Patriotism in American Universities

To most Americans, the American flag is a symbol of an entity that deserves display; however, when that theory is tested with the professors at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), it does not hold up.

Last semester, the TCNJ College Republicans held an American flag audit towards the end of the year. The purpose of the audit was to promote Americanism on campus by dispersing free American flags to any professor who was willing to showcase one in his or her office.

Often, on colleges and universities across the country, our flag is difficult to find, which is why we took the liberty of doing this. Even in the most typical spots one would expect to see a flag, like in the classroom, they are many times absent. Take a look inside most of the classrooms of TCNJ and a student will find only wall and chalkboard, and trust me, it has nothing to do with budget cuts– they are not present for a reason.

The organization sent out e-mails (or directly spoke to the professor) to most of the departments on campus, asking every professor whether they were interested in one or not. Needless to say, the results were dismal; only 20 professors were interested in some red, white, and blue.

This exercise helped identify supporters and definite opponents to the American way. My absolute favorite e-mail came from one professor who showed his utter disdain for America. He declined our offer because his office already had a flag, the one of Puerto Rico, and that he could never wave an American flag since it would represent imperialism. What a patriot!

“He is lying or at the very least exaggerating!” No, I am not making this up, nor is this hyperbole. This is the pathetic truth, and there were a couple other clear-cut, anti-American responses.

Most professors simply did not get back to our club’s requests. Now, there could be a host of reasons why one would not respond, such as being too busy, forgetting to write back, or already having an American flag, but to me that just seems unlikely for the bulk of the faculty.

Perhaps most of our e-mails were ignored because the professors ultimately dislike America. While I know that to be true with a couple, I highly doubt this is the dominant trend.

It is possible that the way we worded our e-mails could lead one to believe that by accepting these flags, they are subtly endorsing tenets of conservatism, even though they were carefully worded to include no such suggestions. Regardless, maybe by displaying an American flag, that professor could be showing their approval for the Iraqi war– a foreign policy decision that “conservatives” (a true conservative would not be in favor of such an unnecessary war) still support more than any other political group. Or maybe it would signal support for President George W. Bush.

It could be even more elementary. Since the flags were being offered by a group of Republicans, it is possible that through accepting them, it would give tacit support to the whole Republican Party. These were actual concerns from some professors who eventually accepted the flags.

Both of these possibilities bring to light an interesting idea: is waving the American flag a symbol of conservatism? And to take it further, does that mean conservatives love their country more than liberals?

I would really like to think the contrary, but unfortunately, it is hard to think otherwise. Those professors that loved our initiative were much more sympathetic to the conservative point of view through some of their e-mails and in-person dialogues, while some of those that declined were certainly in favor of liberalism (some were certainly radical Leftists who put down the nation.)

Being proud to be an American should not be something an abnormal amount of conservatives and Republicans cherish over liberals. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the majority of policies being implemented with the current presidential administration or the stances of one’s local representatives, there is still a lot worth honoring about America, and the very least one could do is wave Old Glory.

Note: A version of this article also appeared in TCNJ's The Signal and