Phi Beta Cons

Flag Day

Arizona is about to pass legislation that would require public schools, from K-12 through higher ed, to display American flags in classrooms. Because most secondary schools already do this, the law won’t have much of an impact on them. But the same isn’t true for colleges and universities, and they’re already griping. Some complain about the cost of this unfunded mandate (the state supplies no money for the flags, and the law also stipulates, protectionist-style, that they be manufactured in the United States); others worry about vandalism because professors don’t take ownership of specific classrooms the way K-12 teachers do, and there’s apparently an abundance of America haters on Arizona’s campuses. The most entertainingly outrageous responses, however, come from faculty members who don’t care about the cost so much as the symbolism:

Reyes Medrano, professor of business at Paradise Valley Community College and president-elect of the faculty association for the Maricopa Community College District … said that while he doesn’t object to anyone flying a flag, he doesn’t see why it should be forced on college classrooms, especially when its meaning isn’t entirely positive to everyone. “I’m not anti-U.S. or anti-any country,” he said, but flags equate with nationalism, which “creates separatism and unnecessary conflict.”
Focusing on the flag, he said, can encourage people to “place our values in an institution rather than in humanity.”

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

Most Popular

Economy & Business

NASDAQ against Shareholder Rights

The function of a stock exchange is to provide an orderly market for the trading of securities. As part of that, a stock exchange will generally insist that a listed company will agree to meet certain financial disclosure requirements designed to ensure that investors have sufficient information with which to ... Read More
Economy & Business

NASDAQ against Shareholder Rights

The function of a stock exchange is to provide an orderly market for the trading of securities. As part of that, a stock exchange will generally insist that a listed company will agree to meet certain financial disclosure requirements designed to ensure that investors have sufficient information with which to ... Read More
Music

Van Morrison Sings for the Voiceless

Van Morrison knows what censorship means even if Internet mobs don’t. He has released three new songs, “No More Lockdown,” “As I Walked Out,” and “Born to Be Free,” that movingly speak against the new autocratic culture that too many people -- especially trusted media figures, particularly ... Read More
Music

Van Morrison Sings for the Voiceless

Van Morrison knows what censorship means even if Internet mobs don’t. He has released three new songs, “No More Lockdown,” “As I Walked Out,” and “Born to Be Free,” that movingly speak against the new autocratic culture that too many people -- especially trusted media figures, particularly ... Read More