Ban on American flag at UC Irvine reversed

UC Irvine student leaders have vetoed a resolution to ban the American flag on one part of campus

A five-member executive cabinet overseeing UC Irvine's student government on Saturday vetoed a decision to ban the display of all flags, including the American flag.

“We fundamentally disagree with the actions taken by ASUCI Legislative Council and their passage of [the ban] as counter to the ideals that allow us to operate as an autonomous student government organization with the freedoms of speech and expression associated with it,” the cabinet said in a prepared statement.

“It is these very symbols that represent our constitutional rights… and our ability to openly debate all ranges of issues and pay tribute to how those liberties were attained.”

The student resolution adopted Thursday by the legislative council of the campus' Associated Students called for removing all flags from the common lobby area of student government offices.

Written by student Matthew Guevara of the school of social ecology, the resolution stated: "The American flag has been flown in instances of colonialism and imperialism" and notes that flags "construct paradigms of conformity and sets homogenized standards."

The resolution passed on a 6-4 vote by the student legislative council, with two abstentions.

On Saturday, UC Irvine issued a statement saying the student government vote was "misguided."

"This misguided decision was not endorsed or supported in any way by the campus leadership, the University of California, or the broader student body,"according to the statement. "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."

The resolution will now head back to the legislative council, which would have to pass the measure with a two-thirds majority to override the veto.

Writing on UC Irvine's Associated Students Facebook page, President Reza Zomorrodian said he opposed the resolution.

"Though I understand the authors' intent and supporters' intent," he wrote, "I disagree with the solution council has come to."

nicole.shine@latimes.com

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Updated

5:37 p.m.: This post was updated with new information about the veto of the flag ban.

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