The university president says the flag has been flown on multiple occasions and he supports the students’ decision. Is this offensive?
The Black Lives Matter movement’s flag has been hoisted high and on par with the flag of the United States at the University of Vermont’s Burlington campus.
UVM’s Student Government Association raised the flag in front of the campus’ main student center.
While some students have hailed the move as a gesture of solidarity with the black community in its protest of police violence, others say they are offended that the university would take a controversial political stance while elevating the flag’s movement to the same height as the Stars and Stripes.
According to WCAX-TV, the flag’s display has the support of the university president, Tom Sullivan, who says that the student government was exercising its right to free speech.
‘I think given this particular time in the history of America, our students thought it was an appropriate time over the next couple of days to show their support for black communities in the United States,’ he told WCAX.
‘UVM supports free expression, and other university groups are welcome to propose flags with information that they wish to express,’ the university said in a statement.
Caroline Slack, a freshman student, told Local 22 that the flag also represents an important statement to the small community of blacks on campus.
‘Also since it’s a primarily white university, it’s important that the students of color are being shown that they’re cared for and that they’re welcome here,’ she said.