City Council endorses bill that prohibits state-funded college flag bans

The Mission Viejo City Council has passed a resolution supporting a prohibition on banning the U.S. flag at state-funded colleges and universities.

This effort to prevent flag banning was sparked by an abortive attempt by UC Irvine’s student council in March to ban any nation’s flag from hanging in the group’s lobby. The student council’s Executive Cabinet soon vetoed the ban after it gained national attention.

State Senator Janet Nguyen, a Republican from Santa Ana, requested a resolution from the city council in support of the statewide amendment. Mayor Pro Tem Greg Raths, a retired Marine colonel, proposed the resolution, which passed with a 4-1 vote. The only opposition came from Councilman Ed Sachs.

Sachs disagrees with the UC Irvine student council’s attempt to ban the flag but said that people do have the right to voice their political beliefs, whether that be for or against the display of the flag.

Raths said that veterans deserve every effort necessary to ensure that the American flag is displayed at all public universities.

“Our veterans deserve for us to make every effort to ensure that the American flag is proudly displayed at public universities and colleges throughout California,” Raths said, according to the OC Register.

Jake Winter, a graduate student from San Diego State University and member of SDSU’s Young Americans for Liberty Chapter, told Campus Reform he disliked bans on the flag.

“I think tradition is an important portion of the United States culture,” Winters said. “National identifiers such as symbols like the flag heavily influence what being a citizen of the US means. If we remove our symbols or in a sense deconstruct our country, you cause problems. I don't care what people do to the flag, but banning it is wrong, as would be banning anything.”

Mark Bautista, another member of the Young Americans for Liberty chapter at San Diego State, disagreed. He told Campus Reform that, "[a]lthough I don't support banning the American flag, people do reserve the right to oppose it. Just like you cannot force people to take it down, you cannot force individuals to support it."

A better solution, he said would be to allow, "a different amendment that prohibits universities and colleges from banning students from putting up the flag in order to protect their free speech. That way everyone's First Amendment rights are protected, not just those that are in support of the flag."

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