The ASUCI Executive Cabinet overturned the American flag ban on Saturday by vetoing the resolution passed by the Associated Students of the University of California at Irvine (ASUCI) Legislative Council (ASUCI) on March 5, according to the SF Gate.
The ASUCI Constitution grants the Executive Cabinet the power to veto any resolutions or bills passed by the government body within six days.
The ASUCI, the undergraduate government body at University of California, Irvine, passed the initial flag ban. Authored by Matthew Guevara, it passed by a margin of six to four, according to UCI records, with two abstaining and four not present.
Officially known as R50-70, “Flags and decoration adjustment for inclusivity,” the resolution includes all flags, but target the American flag specifically, interpreting it as “hate speech.”
The R50-70 text states the U.S. flag has flown “in instances of colonialism and imperialism,” and that the “common ideological understanding” of the U.S. flag is that it is a symbol for “American exceptionalism and superiority.”
Using this negative connotation as justification, the resolution bans all flags to make UCI a more “culturally inclusive space.”
The key text of R50-70 banning the U.S. flag states, “Let it further be resolved that no flag, of any nation, may be hanged on the walls of the Associate Student main lobby space.”
According to the Inquisitr, once the resolution passed, UCI took the American flag down from the lobby of the student government office to be “folded and held in the office of the vice president.”
The ASUCI Executive Cabinet, the UCI Administration and the president of the student body, Reza Zomorrodian, all denounced the passage of the resolution.
The ASUCI Executive Cabinet said they “fundamentally disagree” with the resolution. They believe the American flag is the symbol of “our constitutional rights” and banning it goes against the “autonomous student government organization with the freedoms of speech and expression associated with it.”
According to the UCI Administration statement, “This misguided decision was not endorsed or supported in any way by the campus leadership, the University of California, or the broader student body,”
According to UCI News, Reza Zomorrodian said, “I stand firmly against this piece of legislation, though I understand the authors intent and supporters intent, I disagree with the solution the council has come to.”
When Zomorrodian spoke to the Orange County Register, he added that the U.S. flag is a symbol of our U.S. values. According to the LA Times, Zomorrodian is one of five people who make up the ASUCI Executive Cabinet, the chairperson, and the person who urged the cabinet to veto the resolution.
Another part of the now-vetoed resolution could have been just as much of an outrage had the media given it as much attention as it did the part that banned the U.S. and other flags. The final line in R50-70 banned all decorations if there were issues and “if there is considerable request to do so.” A ban of this type could have included just about anything — a flower, a color, anything.
While the legislation’s intention was equality and inclusiveness, the real world results were just the opposite.
Once passed, news of the resolution banning the American flag spread quickly, and outraged patriots everywhere. This included much of the UCI student body and alumni, many of whom flocked to the ASUCI Facebook page to let loose their comments expressing displeasure and disgust over the flag ban.
Others decided to create the Americans Against the American Flag Ban At UCI Facebook Page to express their outrage.
One fact of note is that only six people voted for the resolution to ban the American flag alongside other flags — seven others — the two who abstained, four who voted no and another three who were absent and did not vote at all.
That’s six of a total of 15 students elected. Considering they represent close to 22,000 undergraduate students, according to Zomorrodian’s count, this is hardly a consensus.