UC Irvine student executive council vetoes US flag ban

IRVINE, Calif. -- UC Irvine's student executive council vetoed Saturday a resolution that banned hanging a flag from any nation in the lobby area of student government offices.

The ban is "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. It is these very symbols that represent our constitutional rights that have allowed for our representative creation and our ability to openly debate all ranges of issues and pay tribute to how those liberties were attained," the student executive cabinet released in a statement.

The ban, narrowly approved by the school's student legislative body in a 6-4 vote Thursday, prompted the removal of the American flag from the lobby.

The resolution was authored by student Matthew Guevara, who offered 25 reasons for the ban, including that the American flag could symbolize "exceptionalism and superiority." The resolution also states "freedom of speech, in a space that aims to be as inclusive as possible, can be interpreted as hate speech."

UC Irvine student Taylor Fong said the ban did not represent the opinions of her or her fellow students.

"It's all very ludicrous," said Fong, who noted petitions had been circulating on the issue.

"It's disrespectful to people who fight for our country and people who will continue to die for our country," student Paul Do said.

Others say they still can't believe a flag ban was even proposed.

"It's a very goofy idea, very unusual for how open minded everyone on campus seems to be. It was a big shock when I saw and heard about everything," graduate student Ebony Madry said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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