Two students at Trinity College were told they had to remove a pro-law enforcement flag and an American flag with the Gadsden symbol that they had hung on the outside of their dorm room windows.
An official from the Hartford, Connecticut school told Finn McCole and Lucas Turco that they were told the way their flag was hung constituted a safety concern. The official declined to require an LGBT pride flag and a Black Lives Matter flag hung nearby, in the same manner, to be removed.
“We believe everyone has a right to their own opinion and their own beliefs and that everyone should be able to put their flags up,” said Turco during an appearance on Jesse Watters Primetime. “And so we thought, why don’t we put up some flags that we personally believe in?”
Watters and Fox News host Tucker Carlson both graduated from Trinity.
Turco’s footage of the official removing the flags was aired during the segment.
“You were asked to take them down,” the unnamed woman said in the recording. “Everyone has been asked to take them down.”
“So they’re being asked but our flags are being ripped off,” Turco countered. “Do you think that’s right?”
The woman then told the students the flags would be taken to the Dean’s office, to which Turco objected.
“These are my flags. I paid for them,” he said toward the end of the recording, taking the items out of the woman’s hands.
Trinity College president Joanne Berger-Sweeney subsequently sent out an email to students addressing the incident, which she noted had “sparked a conversation across social media about freedom of speech” at the school.
The administrator acknowledged that safety policy regarding the windows of residential buildings “has been enforced inconsistently.”
“As I understand the matter, an apology was issued on the same day of the removal to the students who owned the flags for the manner in which the policy was enforced,” Berger-Sweeney wrote. “We will work harder to ensure greater awareness and consistent compliance moving forward.”
“The dean’s office will directly work with students for more consistent enforcement,” a spokesperson for the college told Breitbart News.
On Instagram, McCole said the flag represents “resistance to tyrannical rule and unwavering support for freedom and equality for all people” as well as support for “our first responders and military members.”
“You may agree or disagree with these ideologies, and that is totally fine, but we feel that we should have an opportunity to express them under the First Amendment,” he wrote in a caption on a photo of the flags.
McCole said he and Turco had spoken with the Dean, who “seemed very opened to apologizing” but nothing would change what had happened.
“It’s a sad state of affairs,” McCole told Watters. “We don’t hold hate in our hearts for these people… We’re open to having productive conversations with them going forward.”