US Military veterans and supporters showed up in force at Hampshire college on Sunday, following the removal of Old Glory from the Massachusetts school.
Drawing sharp contrasts between themselves and the protesters who demanded the US Flag be removed from the campus, the veterans and their supporters were regularly encouraged to avoid polarizing behavior such as waving the middle finger and harsh language.
“No middle fingers,” a man on the stage said into a microphone. “We’re keeping this clean. Let’s keep it clean Gentlemen and Ladies. We are better than them.”
Amid a sea of American flags, supporters of Old Glory demanded the return of the flag to campus, chanting “Raise the flag” and singing patriotic songs.
When one counter-protester attempted to disrupt a group photo, the police were seemingly held off by the veterans, who defended the young man’s right to protest (although one of them gave him a sound lecturing).
The flags at Hampshire college were removed after some students considered them to be symbols of racism and hatred (seeing a spike after Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election), bringing all flags down until next semester in hopes that Old Glory’s absence will allow students to have a “direct, open, and respectful conversation.”
One veteran protester quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, who said that “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
The veteran push to restore the flags has seemingly reached fever pitch, with far more supporters turning out than expected. Many of the flags were donated by a small handful of individuals.
The protests against the flag’s removal went on well into the day, with giant American Flags being held in the air by groups of veterans who sang “God Bless America” and other patriotic songs.
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