AMHERST (CBS) – The American flag is flying once again at Hampshire College in Amherst.

The school’s president, Jonathan Lash, made the announcement Friday morning.

The American flag was raised once again at Hampshire College Friday, December 2.  (Photo credit: Hampshire College)

The American flag was raised once again at Hampshire College Friday, December 2. (Photo credit: Hampshire College)

Hampshire College decided to stop flying the U.S. flag in the center of campus last month after it was burned on Veterans Day. The school had earlier lowered that flag to half-staff after Donald Trump was elected president.

Veterans led a vocal group of opponents who protested the move online and at a rally on campus last Sunday.

“We were trying to create a space for an important discussion about race and justice, issues that are of great importance on our campus, but I think nationally as well. The backlash against the decision to lower the flag became kind of a toxic circus and, rather than enabling the discussion, has tended to drown it out,” Lash told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Friday.

A worker took down the American flag on the campus of Hampshire College in November. (WBZ-TV)

A worker took down the American flag on the campus of Hampshire College in November. (WBZ-TV)

“We recognized that in order to do what we want to do, it probably made more sense to put the flag back up and that’s what we’ve done, at dawn this morning.”

Lash said, “For us, it is flying to represent justice and freedom.”

“The protest is fully within people’s rights who disagree with us. It got beyond that. We were deluged with very ugly and very concrete threats. We were hacked into and our services got down, people received threatening phone calls. It seemed to me that we ought to be able to exercise free speech rights without death threats and home invasions by Fox News.”

Veterans protest Sunday at Hampshire College in Amherst. (WBZ-TV)

Veterans protest Sunday at Hampshire College in Amherst. (WBZ-TV)

Lash has regrets about the decision to take the flag down.

“What we did was very important to the school and to a set of values. In the end, I think we caused a lot of pain to people who legitimately hold the flag as a representation of their highest aspirations and it ended up with a situation in which people at the school were feeling genuinely threatened. Those weren’t consequences I expected.”

Lash also clarified that there was never a campus-wide ban on flags, which was initially reported.

“There were American flags being flown by individuals around the campus. We just took down the institutional flag at the center of the campus,” he told WBZ.

“We will certainly fly other flags. We’ll probably put up a second flag pole to fly flags that reflect Hampshire’s values.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Ben Parker reports

Comments (9)
  1. Peter Lake says:

    Actions have consequences. Are they teaching that at Hampshire? Is that one of their “values”?

  2. don’t think i’d want to send my kids there.

    1. Suke Madique says:

      You don’t “send” kids to college, they are young adults and can choose their path. Plus its $62k a year, you paying for that?

  3. Cut all federal funding and student loans. Then pull the flag down. Until that happens.. expect backlash

  4. Joan Gurney says:

    guess your people took civics at trump university

    1. Luke Greene says:

      thats PRESIDENT TRUMP

  5. Luke Greene says:

    thank you Orielly factor

  6. $89 associate degree hour! Seriously i do not grasp why additional individuals haven’t tried this, I work 2 shifts, a pair of hours within the day and a pair of within the evening…And what is awful is i am engaging from home thus i purchase longer with my youngsters.. Heres wherever I went
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, http://tiny.tw/3r5Z

  7. Alex Tribeca says:

    taking down the flag IS a political statement & certainly does NOT encourage discussion! it creates an atmosphere of hate & fear, the exact things they THINK they are protesting. common sense has left the building.

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