At Stanford University, a fraternity, Sigma Chi, was asked by a university official to remove the American flag from the front of its house on campus to improve its image. Just the mere presence of the American flag on an American campus on American soil seems enough to ruffle feathers. Since when hanging the American flag has become stigmatized?
This antagonistic view takes social justice many steps too far here. Displaying a flag is not even patriotism, nor does it imply “teaching patriotism.” Putting out a flag is more an expression of national identity, which unifies those in the same country. Clearly, the issue behind the Stanford official’s directive is a case of identity politics and virtue signalling.
It seems anti-Trump sentiment in the wake of Trump’s calling out of rogue NFL players as un-American and unpatriotic has elicited perverse reaction from some left-leaning intellectuals: “Donald Trump is singing the wrong song about freedom, patriotism and First Amendment values,” according to the chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute and of the Institute’s First Amendment Center.
His feature is headlined: “Patriotism, respect for flag cannot be ‘ordered’” But can a university official order or even suggest removal of a symbol of nationality?
It seems Stanford would allow foreign students to fly their flag from their bedroom windows, but would hold a grudge against the Sigma Chi fraternity’s pride in its national flag. According to an article in Stanford Review, Stanford’s independent newspaper, the Stanford official seemed to “imply that the American flag, as a symbol, could be intimidating, aggressive or alienating.”
The official wrongly went to an extreme. In fact, the instruction is not only a violation of the students’ rights, it is an illustration of administrational stupidity. The Stanford official is parroting far left viewpoints designed to move forward the “social justice warrior” agenda.He turned skepticism about the concept of allegiance on its head unwittingly. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the rights of individuals to speak freely. Hoisting the American flag is freedom of expression, too, of fraternity members.