Viral video footage posted to TikTok and Twitter showed school officials at Trinity College in Connecticut removing two patriotic flags which were hanging from a student’s dorm room, while allowing other students to hang pride flags.
Two students hung a “Don’t Tread On Me” flag and an American flag with a blue, red, and green line representing law enforcement, firefighters, and federal agents. The Self-identifying Director of Housing Operations ordered an alleged school administrator to remove the flags from the dorm. Video of the interaction showed the students protesting the removal.
“Who are you touching our flags? You have no right to do this,” said one student who claimed to own the flags.
“You were directed to take it down,” an alleged school official responded. “The dean’s office has requested — put your phone away.”
“Absolutely not,” the student said. “I have every right to record and you know that. This is America. We have the First Amendment right to freedom of speech, freedom of expression. I don’t know why you’re taking our flags down.”
The alleged administrator told the two students to visit the dean’s office. The students alleged that while other students were asked to remove their flags, only the American flag and “Don’t Tread On Me” flag were physically removed.
“Why are you targeting us specifically,” one student asked, while another said, “[Other students are] being asked, but ours are being ripped off.”
Conservative influencer Libs of TikTok posted the video to Twitter, where it went viral. They also noted that pride flags were hung from the art center of the college, and that other students were still hanging transgender pride flags outside of their dorms days after the incident.
Kristen Cole, a senior director of media relations at Trinity College, claimed that the dean was enforcing the Student Handbook.
“The Trinity College Student Handbook states that objects are not allowed to be placed outside of residence hall windows for safety reasons,” Cole said.
The handbook states that “no objects of any type (including liquid), may be thrown, dropped, pushed out of, placed outside of, or allowed to fall from any residential building window. Students found responsible for such actions will face residential censure.”
Cole did admit that the incident showcased how rules are applied selectively on campus.
“The event has highlighted the need for more consistent enforcement of handbook rules, and the college is working with the student body to create awareness and compliance,” Cole said. “The dean’s office will directly work with students for more consistent enforcement.”