Irvine City Council Supports Prohibition on Campus Flag Bans

The Irvine City Council has thrown its support behind a proposed constitutional amendment which would prohibit the banning of American flags at state-funded universities.

Tuesday’s vote was 4 to 1 with Council Member Both Krom dissenting. It comes nearly three months after a student committee at UC Irvine voted to ban the American flag, along with any other national flags, from the university’s lobby. That resolution was soon vetoed by the school’s student government executive cabinet, but not before it caught the attention of state legislators.

The amendment was introduced by State Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) and co-authored by State Senators Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) and Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar). Nguyen, herself a UC Irvine graduate, reached out to the city council for support.

"To ban hanging the American flag, it was truly shameful," said Mayor Steven Choi. "The flag is representing our country's liberty, freedom, diversity and also unity. It's a very important principle we're dealing with."

Council Member Lynn Schott agreed, saying the initial vote by the student committee was not an exhibit of free speech, but rather an attempt “to impose their speech on the greater campus and in the building that's owned by a host."

The council’s lone no vote, Beth Krom, said the council had no business taking up the issue. She noted that the student’s larger governing body had already reversed the initial ban.

Read more about the council’s vote here.