Massachusetts college won’t fly US flag on campus

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Hampshire College, a liberal arts school with about students 1,400 in Massachusetts, will no longer fly the U.S. flag on its campus. 

{mosads}”We hope this will enable us to instead focus our efforts on addressing racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and behaviors,” Hampshire’s president, Jonathan Lash, said in a statement. 

A day after the presidential election, the college decided to lower the flag to half staff  “as an expression of grief over the violent deaths being suffered in this country and globally,” Lash said, but that angered some students on campus and in the community. 

Instead, the college will not fly any flags on campus “for the time being.” 

“Unfortunately, our efforts to inclusively convey respect and sorrow have had the opposite effect. We have heard from many on our campus as well as from neighbors in the region that, by flying the flag at half-staff, we are actually causing hurt, distress and insult. Our decision has been seen as disrespectful of the traditional expression of national mourning and has been especially painful to our Hampshire colleagues who are veterans or families of veterans,” Lash said. 

“Some have perceived the action of lowering the flag as a commentary on the results of the presidential election — this, unequivocally, was not our intent. After some preliminary consultation with campus constituents (we understand much more is needed), we have decided that we will not fly the U.S. flag or any other flags at Hampshire for the time being.”

The decision not to fly any flags on campus has also sparked backlash, and thousands have flooded the college’s Facebook page with feedback to call it a “horrible decision” and “appalling.” 

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