Two college students in California could be expelled for refusing to remove the US flag from their dormitory balcony.
The students, both aspiring to different branches of the US military, say San Diego State University administrators have threatened them with expulsion for expressing their First Amendment rights.
“We’re just being proud of what we’re affiliated with,” active duty Coast Guard member Cameron Box says of the four flags festooning his patio.
Box and his roommate Connor Fenwick, an Army ROTC member, tell KGTV as far as they’re concerned they’ve abided by SDSU rules regarding what they can display.
But university officials claim the flags are a safety and fire hazard issue, and ultimately violate terms set out in the SDSU living agreement, which reads, “No items, except patio furniture designed for outdoor use, may be placed on balconies and patios. Hangings, partitions, or curtains of any type may not be used on balconies or patios.”
“If you look up the definition of ‘furniture,’” Fenwick argues, “it does say it’s an ornament and ornaments are particularly designed to beautify something… I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t say a flag is not designed for outdoor use.”
The roommates say they plan to stand up to the university in defense of their right to fly the flags, which in addition to Old Glory include a US Coast Guard and US Army flag.
“Why can’t we have our First Amendment rights?” Fenwick asks.