The University of Alaska at Fairbanks first removed the state flag of Mississippi and then restored it to a display of state flags. The flag (at right) was removed because it contains the Confederate battle flag in one corner. In a statement on Facebook, Chancellor Brian Rogers explained both the decision to remove and restore the flag.
"I decided to remove the Mississippi flag from the display of state flags in Cornerstone Plaza. I made the decision because I thought it was inappropriate for a campus that values diversity to display a flag that many see as a symbol of racism. This is not an issue of individual freedom of speech; any individual can express their opinions on this campus. The flags in Cornerstone Plaza are displayed by the institution, not an individual," he wrote. "People have strong opinions on both sides of this issue. The tone and content of some of the responses I received this week have convinced me that it is in the best interest of UAF to return the Mississippi flag to the Circle of Flags, but I do so reluctantly. I encourage members of the campus community to continue a reasoned dialogue on symbols and other manifestations of racism in our community and throughout the United States. I hope that similar discussions nationwide will help the Mississippi speaker be successful in his efforts to change their state flag."
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