Maybe Matthew Guevara, from the school of Social Ecology, thinks he is channeling Che when he authored his bill to ban the American flag - and all flags - from the lobby at the University of California at Irvine. The vote was passed by the Associated Students of University of California Irvine (ASUCI).
The language of the bill claims that flags “construct cultural mythologies and narratives that in turn charge nationalistic sentiments,” and further charges that “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.” Guevara’s resolution goes further on to say that “freedom of speech, in a space that aims to be as inclusive as possible, can be interpreted as hate speech.”
Todd Starnes of Fox News broke down the vote:
The resolution passed 6-4. Two people abstained. Let me break down the vote for you — six unAmerican students, four patriots and two individuals who could have a career in House Republican leadership...
It sounds like Mr. Guevara could have a future career in community organizing or the Democratic Party.
The silver lining comes from Associated Students of UCI President Reza Zomorrodian, who said in a statement:
The ASUCI Legislative Council recently passed a piece of legislation regarding the display of the American flag and its prohibition of display in ASUCI common space. I stand firmly against this piece of legislation, though I understand the authors intent and supporters intent, I disagree with the solution the council has come to. I speak for myself about my feelings on this piece of legislation.
According to the Los Angeles Times, if vetoed by the executive cabinet, the resolution would head back to the legislative council, which would have to pass the measure with a two-thirds majority to override the veto.
Joshua Nguyen, vice president for student services, who attended the meeting, told the OC Register that the “debate was over freedom of speech vs. inclusivity”:
Nguyen, as an executive board member, said he intends to vote in favor of the veto. “The only reason you can take down this flag is because of the liberties given to you by this flag,” said Nguyen, who is keeping the flag in his office for now.
In case the students forgot what the American flag symbolizes:
For more than 200 years, the American flag has been the symbol of our nation's strength and unity. It's been a source of pride and inspiration for millions of citizens. And the American Flag has been a prominent icon in our national history.
The stripes represent the original 13 colonies and the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well: Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor, White symbolizes Purity and Innocence and Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.
There may still be hope: the last post on UCI's Facebook page reads, “Have a wonderful weekend! And contrary to what you might be hearing, flags are still flying at UC Irvine."
The UCI executive cabinet vetoed the resolution Saturday evening, according to the OC Register.