Banning the Confederate Flag

Banning the Confederate Flag
By: Arnold Wyrick

CARBONDALE, Ill. - It's colors are red, white and blue, but depending on how it's presented and who is looking at it, the Confederate flag takes on an array of meanings.
For one Southern Illinois University student, seeing the flag on his campus a number of times was enough to make him take action to ban the flag at SIU.
"When he got out of the SIU vehicle he was wearing a shirt with the Confederate flag on it, and it shocked me.  Because you're in your professional setting that's your job.  And you shouldn't have something like that on when you're at your job.  Especially if I'm paying for your salary from my tuition," said SIU student Brandon Allen.
So, Allen drafted a resolution to any SIU employees from wearing it.
Not everyone on the campus agrees with Allen's views.
"It can be a symbolism of their culture coming from the South they're proud of it.  But, sometimes it's used in racism and that's not cool.  But, this is America and we can't stop people from believing in what they want to believe in," said SIU student Bailey Vazquez.
"Some people look at it as a pride issue from being from the southern states.  Some people look at as being a racist issue.  To each his own that's what I think," said SIU student Edward Obidi.
Allen isn't trying to stop students' freedom speech with his resolution, but he does want to see the Confederate flag being worn by others on campus.
"We hope to kind of enforce a dress code where you're not allowed to wear these things, because it is offensive to students.  And we don't want SIUC to have this bad reputation that we promote racism and segregation which is what the Confederate Flag stands for by most people," Allen said.
Senators on the Undergraduate Student Government voted on Allen's resolution Wednesday evening.  It did not pass.
Below is a complete version of the resolution.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Undergraduate Student Government


Student Senate

August 30,2006

SR 08-05

Resolution regarding confederate clothing on Southern Illinois University Carbondale employees

Whereas: The Confederate Flag is understood amongst most Americans to be a symbol for inequality, prejudice, and hate.

Whereas: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale has a minority population of about 18-20%.

Whereas: The Confederate Flag is used as a symbol for most white supremacist groups and organizations.

Whereas: Slavery was the central issue of the Civil War, and the Confederate Flag was the flag that represented the southern, pro-slavery states.

Whereas: Some see view the Confederate Flag as a symbol of terror and oppression.

Whereas: The idea the Confederate Flag represents completely contradicts the direction in which Southern Illinois University Carbondale should be heading towards in the 21st century.

Whereas: The idea the Confederate Flag represents is detrimental to the image of Southern Illinois University Carbondale and its mission.

Whereas: University employees have been seen on campus wearing clothing with the confederate flag on it.

Therefore let it be resolved that:

The Undergraduate Student Government would like the administrations support in making Southern Illinois University Carbondale a more culturally friendly environment, by eliminating the wearing of confederate clothing by university employees.

Written by: Senator Brandon Allen, Brush Towers/University Park

Submitted by: Senator Brandon Allen, Brush Towers/University Park & Senator Chiquita Watts, COBA