The controversial decision by the UC Irvine student body government to ban the American flag – as well as all other flags – speaks to broader generational shifts in views of patriotism.
The decision has since been overturned.
“The Associated Students of University of California, Irvine (ASUCI) voted Tuesday to remove all flags, including American flags, from an inclusive space on campus because of their offensive nature.
The bill, R50-70, was authored by Social Ecology Representative Matthew Guevara, and accuses all flags, especially, the American flag, of being “symbols of patriotism or weapons for nationalism.”
“[F]lags construct paradigms of conformity and sets [sic] homogenized standards for others to obtain which in this country typically are idolized as freedom, equality, and democracy,” the bill reads.
The legislation argues that flags may be interpreted differently; the American flag, for example, can represent “American exceptionalism and superiority,” as well as oppression.
“[T]he American flag has been flown in instances of colonialism and imperialism,” the bill continues, arguing that “symbolism has negative and positive aspects that are interpreted differently by individuals.”
“Surveys by the Pew research Center suggest that Millennials are more wary than any other American generation of defining themselves by larger institutions. Half are political independents. Nearly 3 in 10 do not associate with any religion. And only 26 percent have married by the age of 32 – 10 percentage points less than Generation Xers at the same point in their lives and 22 points less than Baby Boomers.
That same trend holds true with Millennials’ views of the United States itself.
By a host of indicators, Millennials are less “patriotic” than any other generation of Americans – at least by the traditional gauges of patriotism.”
Doug Giles is the man behind ClashDaily.com. Giles is the author of the books Raising Righteous & Rowdy Girls and Raising Boys Feminists Will Hate