The UA Flag Flap

by D.V. Bowden
Last Updated 09-23-03

Here is the history of the latest Confederate flag flap at the University of Alabama, with links to as many stories and letters as I could find on the subject.

  1. It all started with this news article in the UA student newspaper:
    Res Life policy could affect speech, Crimson White, 06-18-03.

  2. The article was accompanied by this cringing, self-abasing editorial. Such a weak defense of free speech and slander against Southerners called for a response:
    Residential Life policy cramps free speech, Crimson White, 06-18-03.

  3. Response came in the form of this letter to the editor by myself...
    Rebel flag flyers have no reason to apologize, Crimson White, 07-02-03.

  4. And this letter to the editor by Patrick Samples:
    Res Life policy promotes anti-Southern bigotry, Crimson White, 07-02-03.

  5. Accompanying these letters was another newspaper article (the university was beginning to feel the heat):
    Controversial Residential Life policy under review, Crimson White, 07-02-03.

  6. Next, the story hit the main Tuscaloosa newspaper, with this article:
    UA dorm policy raises concerns, Tuscaloosa News, 07-05-03.

  7. Then the Tuscaloosa News comes out with this editorial (in favour of censorship, no less!):
    New UA proposal has more pros than cons, Tuscaloosa News, 07-07-03.

  8. This letter to the editor writer disagreed with Pat Samples:
    Confederate flag not representative of all Southerners, Crimson White, 07-09-03.

  9. Then there was this letter, from someone who has been thoroughly brainwashed into hating himself because he is a white male, and therefore racist and guilty of all the sins of the world, even those committed before he was born!:
    Confederate flag symbolizes racism's long legacy of hate, Crimson White, 07-16-03.

  10. There was also this rather incoherent letter, vaguely defending free speech:
    Even rednecks allowed to speak freely, Crimson White, 07-16-03.

  11. The university, seeing that it was in for trouble if it targeted only non-PC displays like the Confederate flag, has decided on a blanket prohibition (which will likely run afoul of 1st Amendment considerations as well). This article tells the story:
    Res Life to ban all displays in dorm windows, Crimson White, 07-16-03.

  12. Thankfully, the Crimson White has printed another editorial, denoucing the university's policy, this time without the anti-South rhetoric:
    Warm, fuzzy blanket policy too constrictive, Crimson White, 07-16-03.

  13. This article explains that the university is now adopting an across-the-board policy banning any displays in windows, but permitting displays in hallways and on doors. I was interviewed for this article.
    UA plans to ban window displays in dorms, Tuscaloosa News, 07-21-03.

  14. This letter to the editor is from Alabama Prof. Charles Nuckolls, a leader of the Alabama Scholar’s Association:
    UA seeks to cherry-pick constitutional rights, Crimson White, 07-23-03.

  15. Here, Pat Samples responds to a previous attack by a “guilty white southerner.”
    White guilt no excuse for making South a scapegoat, Crimson White, 07-23-03.

  16. The heroic Malleteers don't plan to take this policy lying down:
    Students plan to fight for their First Amendment rights, Crimson White, 08-06-03.

  17. In keeping with the title of his opinion article, Nick Beadle writes a pointless, idiotic column.
    University-wide Confederate flag debate is pointless, utterly idiotic , Crimson White, 08-06-03.

  18. FIRE spokesman clarifies organization's position, Crimson White, 08-15-03.

  19. It looks like the University may delay the imposition of the speech restrictions, having come under sharp criticism.
    Proposed Res Life policy to be postponed; Rule to be reviewed for future, Crimson White, 08-21-03.

  20. Res Life senior residence hall coordinator Brian Bourke called the Confederate flag a "vile display" that had no place in any university building, but fortunately an LS member was there to stand up to this anti-Southern bigot. The display policy appears to be buried (for now), if not completely dead. It'll be back--in a year or two. Incrementalism is how bureaucrats work.
    Student Life Committee mulls window policy , Crimson White, 09-19-03.

Dan Bowden is a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law.
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