UC Irvine Reverses American Flag Ban, Says School Is 'Patriotic and Proud'

( [email protected] ) Mar 09, 2015 02:03 PM EDT
UC Irvine student leaders have vetoed a resolution that banned the American flag from being displayed in the lobby of the student government offices, insisting the school is "patriotic and proud."
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University of California Irvine (UCI)

Student government leaders at the University of California, Irvine have reversed a controversial decision to ban the American flag from a campus lobby, insisting the school is "patriotic and proud."

Last week, student legislator Matthew Guevara made headlines after authoring a bill to remove the American flag, along with all other flags, from the lobby of a campus building housing their offices

At the time, Guevara explained that he wanted to make the university a more "culturally inclusive" place by banning the flag, which he argued is a symbol of "imperialism and colonialism."

"Designing a culturally inclusive space aims to remove barriers that create undue effort and separation by planning and designing spaces that enable everyone to participate equally and confidentially," read the resolution, penned by Guevara.

However, on Saturday, members of the executive cabinet of the Associated Students of UC Irvine met in an emergency session to nix the flag ban

"Our campus is patriotic and proud," student government President Reza Zomorrodian said. "We did something right for our campus."

Zomorrodian added that he was furious that the small group of student legislators pushed through the ban.

"Our campus stands with the flag," he told Fox News correspondent Todd Starnes.

As a first generation American, Zomorrodian explained that he was highly offended by the student's decision.

"I was born here. My parents came here as immigrants...This country has been great to our family," he said.

"We see the flag as transcending policy and politics, it represents American values," he added, following the veto. "We disagree with the legislative council, they see it as a representation of policy."

The initial flag ban also created a firestorm on Twitter, with many expressing shock and outrage over the decision.

"I will never apologize for my country or my flag. You, UC Irvine, are a disgrace to all who have served," wrote one Twitter user.

"UC Irvine, you are Free because of Bravery & Sacrifice, not because of Political Correctness," added another.

In the meantime, the University's administration have insisted the short-lived flag ban does not reflect the beliefs of the school's current student body or alumni.

"This misguided decision was not endorsed or supported in any way by the campus leadership, the University of California, or the broader student body," read a statement posted online by the university. "The views of a handful of students passing a resolution do not represent the opinions of the nearly 30,000 students on this campus, and have no influence on the policies and practices of the university."

"The American flag is still proudly flying throughout our campus and will continue to do so," said the post, signed off by the executive cabinet of the Associated Students - University of California.