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Veterans gather at Hampshire College to protest flag removal

(Western Mass News Photo)
AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) –

 A controversial decision from Hampshire College in Amherst is making national headlines.

The school removed the American flag from their campus following a heated election season.

On Sunday, hundreds gathered to voice their outrage over the decision.

The school removed the American flag from their campus following a heated election season.

The American flag represents a lot of different meanings for everyone. 

“This stands for all the veterans around the whole nation. Everybody who fought for this flag. It’s more than just a symbol,” said Larry Parker, Veteran. 
 
Veterans and citizens alike are asking the college to raise the flag once again. 

The flag also stands for the freedom of expression . Administrators at Hampshire College said that’s what they are doing by removing the flag. 
 
“What we want as an outcome is to create a dialogue,” said President Jonathan Lash.
 
“The symbol was raising the temperature of the controversy, getting us away from values we wanted to discuss and the strength of the feelings making it difficult to have the conversation,” Lash noted. 
 
 Things quickly escalated after a contentious campaign season, the flag flying on the Hampshire College campus was lowered to half-staff.

Moments later, someone burned the flag.The college then announced they would remove our nation’s flag from campus.
 
“Stand up for something, but you don’t need to take a flag down to do it. The flag of our united states of America,” said Brittany Samson of Chicopee.  
 
An uproar spiraled at the rally. A group from the Amherst VFW organized a  demonstration at the college on Sunday in favor of our flag flying proudly on our nation’s soil. 
 
Veterans shared their stories of fighting for the American dream, no matter the cost.

Christopher Dupont fought for our country alongside his brother. 
 
“This is the flag that my mom got at the day he was laid to rest,” said Dupont. 
 
He said this flag represents his families patriotism and sacrifice, and is the reason why he is spoke out at the rally. 
 
“Too much blood has been shed for our country for our freedom,” said Dupont. 
 
Hampshire College President Lash is standing by the decision at this time, he said the discussion about what the flag represents will continue. 

Copyright 2016 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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