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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

ResLife asks Ziv residents to remove American flag hanging outside building

Published: November 9, 2007
Section: News

Residents of Ziv 130 have recently been asked by Residence Life to remove a large American flag they have hung outside of their window with a sign beneath reading these colors dont run.

Ari Tessler 08 and Abe Male 08 decided to hang an American flag from the windows of their neighboring Ziv suites last week.

Male explained the closest [American] flag is at the main gate. We felt a lack of patriotism in America. He added, people are taking [the United States] for granted. We live in a country that affords us a lot of rights and we should not look by that.

Tessler said the sign saying these colors dont run. was not a pro-war or anti-war message, commenting, the flag is purely patrioticjust appreciating the land that we live in.

After sending an email to Ziv Quad Director Colleen Johnston requesting reimbursement for the flag because it was representing the whole quad, according to Tessler, he received an email requesting the removal of the flag.

Im a little surprised that they told us to take it down, said Male, its an American flag, not a sign with a racial slur.

In her email, Johnston cited Rights and Responsibilities sections 6.1 and 10.15. Section 6.1 requires that posters, banners, handbills, or notices are displayed only on spaces designated for that purpose.

The sides of buildings are not included amongst the prohibited display locations. Section 6.1 also prohibits the use of posting materials that might cause damage. Section 10.15 requires that postings and decorations must comply with safety and security guidelines.

Director of Residence Life Rich DeCapua was unable to be reached before publication to further explain ResLifes position. When asked for further information, Johnston declined to comment, saying, its really a Rights and Responsibilities issue.

Tessler responded the [Rights and Responsibilities] citations are not applicable.

Male agreed. We read through the laws, there was nothingnow theyre citing sections that just arent applicable, he said. This should be a non-issueI would think the thing that should be the least controversial should be the American flag. If Id put up a Saudi flag, I could see some issues.

Tessler added, if it was a gay pride flag, [thered be] no issue.

Male and Tessler explained that while they are willing to take down the flag if ResLife can prove their case, they would be like an American flag to be displayed publicly. If ResLife presents us with legal reasons why this isnt allowed, well take it down, said Male.

If it comes to light that it is [prohibited], Tessler added, we hope ResLife would accommodate our flag. He added, were totally willing to donate [the flag]all they have to do is buy the pole and the cementif they buy the concrete, well pour it.

Tessler continued, we want a flag in every quad eventuallyits our gift to the school.