Western Mass. veterans demand Hampshire College let US flag fly

Veterans are planning a "standout" at Hampshire College on Sunday

AMHERST (WWLP) – In a controversial move, Hampshire College has decided not to fly the American flag on the main flag pole in the center of campus. Some western Massachusetts veterans are furious.

World War II Veteran Hector Page told 22News the college was both disrespectful and irresponsible by taking that flag down.

“These people are supposed to be educating our young people and they’re teaching the wrong message that your country is not worth flying the flag,” said Page.

Hampshire College’s President Jonathan Lash decided to remove the flag after an American flag was burned on campus following the presidential election. The school has since been under immense pressure to let the flag fly.

Westfield State Representative John Velis, an Afghanistan War veteran is offended by the decision. He said, “Grow up. Recognize the sacrifice. Instead of taking the flag down, why don’t you say thank you particularly on this day of Thanksgiving.”

For Korean War veteran Louis Smola, the flag is a symbol of hope to our nation’s veterans and soldiers who are serving overseas.

Western Massachusetts vets plan to bring an American flag to Hampshire College on Sunday during their rally on campus.