MA Mayor & Vets Protest 'Disrespectful' Removal of Flag From College Campus
Domenic Sarno, the mayor of Springfield, Mass., joined Bill Hemmer Tuesday on "America's Newsroom" to discuss the decision by Hampshire College to remove an American flag from the campus' main flagpole.
Following the presidential election, the flag was lowered to half-staff in "reaction to the toxic tone of the months-long election," according to a statement from the college. The flag was later removed and burned, and the decision was made to not have a flag at all.
"Some have perceived the action of lowering the flag as a commentary on the results of the presidential election. This, unequivocally, was not our intent," Hampshire College President Jonathan Lash said in a statement.
Sarno said the decision was "disrespectful" to military veterans. On Sunday, he joined an estimated 400 protesters waving American flags on the college's campus in Amherst, Mass.
"I know this is higher education and academia, but sometimes common sense needs to prevail here," Sarno said. "No one is saying that they cannot protest; no one is saying that they cannot have a discussion. But this opportunity is because they are in the United States of America. If they were in some other country across the world, this would be handled very differently."
Sarno said he had not yet been in contact with Lash but hopes to be soon, saying veterans "have given their blood, sweat and tears in order for people to lead the lives they want to lead."
"I would hope that they change and adjust their position on this and get the flag flying," he said. "You are in the United States of America, the greatest country in the world. We're a beacon of hope and democracy, and there are opportunities because of our veterans."
Watch the interview above.