April 1st, 2003 3:51 PM

So the kids at 44 Howard, the straight edge house on Wheaton’s campus, had an upside-down American flag hung in the window. 44 Howard, like most of the student houses at Wheaton, is on a public road in Norton where anybody can see it.

It seems that some of the locals saw the flag, got terribly upset by it, came into 44 Howard unannounced, took down the flag, and started looking for the residents. I never got the full details on what followed, but the students responded by filing a lawsuit against the Norton locals for trespassing (among other things, I would assume). I hear that the Wheaton administration has (unsurprisingly) done a less than stellar job at dealing with the situation.

I’m not sure how far things have progressed since I last talked to people about this, but I just read a friend’s away message that read:

I hope those people in that house with the upside-down flag realize they are representing all of us at wheaton, and even norton at this point…the deal about the flag was on the news in CANADA.

For some reason that really bothers me. I don’t know what the implied meaning of the away-message is (or if there is meant to be one), but I say right on. If you are to represent your campus and fellow students, it ought to be in the act of voicing an opinion. Whether you agree with the message or not, the fact that students have the right to hang a flag in their window to voice an opinion is what is at issue here. This country seems rapidly on its way towards a state in which dissenting opinions are silenced or, worse yet, never vocalized because of fear. Fear of retribution. Fear of suspicion. Fear of scrutiny and imprisonment.

To anyone who thinks that trespassing and taking down images that don’t align with their political sentiments is an acceptable solution to the impedance mismatch you seem to have with your neighbors, I say think long and hard about what history does to those who fail to cast a critical eye at the herd mentality of patriotism and those who fail to question why their opponents might hold the views they do.

(In a quick search of google news, I can’t find any reference to this on any news site, but I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if it had been covered by someone.)


I lived there, and google gave me this site as well as a couple others

Posted by: Aaron on July 28th, 2004 12:21 PM

I lived there, and google gave me this site as well as a couple others

Posted by: Aaron on July 28th, 2004 12:21 PM