Mississippi state flag returns to UAF campus
The University of Alaska Fairbanks has allowed the Mississippi state flag to return to the display of state flags on campus.
UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers ordered the flag to be removed from Cornerstone Plaza on July 21 following a national discussion on the controversial symbolism of the Confederate battle flag, which is incorporated in the Mississippi state flag.
“I made the decision because I thought it was inappropriate for a campus that values diversity to display a flag that many see as a symbol of racism,” Rogers said in a statement on Facebook. “This is not an issue of individual freedom of speech; any individual can express their opinions on this campus. The flags in Cornerstone Plaza are displayed by the institution, not an individual.”
Rogers says his decision to return the flag came after public response to the removal.
“The tone and content of some of the responses I received this week have convinced me that it is in the best interest of UAF to return the Mississippi flag to the Circle of Flags, but I do so reluctantly,” he said.
The flag was also removed from a similar state flag display on Egan Drive in Juneau. It was replaced by an older version of the state’s flag, known as the Mississippi Magnolia flag.