An employee at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut can be seen pulling down a Gadsden flag and a “thin blue, red, green line” flag from a student’s dorm window in a video posted recently on social networks. While the school says it is against the rules to hang flags outside dormitory windows, the students involved argue that the university had no problem with the pride flags hanging outside. outside – until conservative students followed suit.
Turning Point USA employee Jason Rotondi posted video of the incident on social media. In the video, Trinity College staff member Veronica Hills can be seen on a ladder pulling down the flags while fellow staff member Susan Salisbury monitors the situation.
@TrinityCollege sent a campus employee to remove American flags from a student because they were “offensive,” while letting others fly freely. Apparently, it is normal to discriminate against students because they are patriotic and pro-American! pic.twitter.com/qAy7yIdW2E
— Jason Rotondi (@rotondi_jason) October 28, 2022
Finn McCole, the student whose dormitory was targeted, explained in an Instagram post that he and his roommate, Lucas Turco, noticed several flags “hanging outside people’s windows around campus, featuring subjects that they valued and ideologies they could relate to”.
“These flags included LGBT rights flags, American flags and other wonderful ideological organizations that they personally support,” McCole wrote. “With the understanding that flags were allowed to be hung on campus, Lucas and I decided to hang a few flags demonstrating the ideologies we support.”
“The ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ flag is based on the original Gadsden flag from the 1700s which demonstrates resistance to tyrannical rule and unwavering support for freedom and equality for all,” the student explained. . “It was a rallying cry for our brave ancestors who fought so that we could have an independent government.”
“The Red Line, Blue Line and Green Line flags express our support for our first responders and our military, as we believe the majority are heroic and good people who serve our communities,” McCole said of the second flag.
— Jason Rotondi (@rotondi_jason) October 28, 2022
In his message, the student went on to say that “these flags were reported to the administration as offensive, and an administration representative came to forcibly remove them.”
“When we asked for clarification on the reasons for their removal, we were told that no flags were to be hung on campus,” McCole said. “Despite this, no one else who has a flag hung on campus has been made aware of this rule, and obviously no one else has had their flag forcibly removed in this manner.”
“If the school has a rule that no flags can be displayed outside a dormitory, that is perfectly reasonable, we simply ask that this rule be applied to all parties in the same way,” said McCole added.
A spokesperson for Trinity College told Breitbart News that “items are not permitted to be placed outside residence windows for security reasons,” adding: “This event has underscored the need for more consistent application of textbook rules, and the college works with the student body to create awareness and compliance.
“The Dean of Student Life is addressing the issue with the student body to ensure compliance with the handbook and reiterated the rule to the student body in a communication this week,” the spokesperson added. “The Dean’s office will work directly with students for more consistent enforcement.”
McCole and Turco, however, told Breitbart News that other students on campus had their flags displayed outside their dorm windows for months, and college handbook rules were only enforced for a few hours. after installing their Gadsden and thin blue red green line. flags.
The students explained that school staff never forcibly removed flags belonging to other students, who had their flags displayed outside their dorm windows throughout the semester. These other students were instead warned by email to remove their flags – after Trinity College staff were filmed forcibly removing the Gadsden and a thin blue red green line.
“Unfortunately, our flags were targeted for removal hours after being hung up,” the students explained in a joint statement to Breitbart News. “The college had deemed our flags ‘offensive’, even though we stand for love, respect and tolerance for all.”
The students continued:
Our goal was not to bring down other flags, we do not disagree with any other community. We believe that everyone should have the right to express themselves freely. By removing these flags, the school had advocated for a hateful interpretation of these flags with which we disagreed. We interpreted them as showing our love of freedom and equality for all, and our willingness to protect them, as well as demonstrating our support for our first responders and veterans, the vast majority of whom are heroes and deserve our support.
The students added that their flags are currently displayed inside their dorm windows and that “no one has come to tell us to take them down” yet.
“But I think the school wrongly targeted our flags specifically and forcibly removed them while giving others the option to remove them the following week after a campus-wide email explained this flag rule,” they added. “We weren’t so lucky.
You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangeloand on Instagram.