Last week, former “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe took to Facebook to express his opinion on students at American University burning the American flag as well as Hampshire College’s decision to stop flying the American flag after students took the flag down and burned it.
Rowe focused his Facebook post on Hampshire College’s president, Jonathan Lash, who made the decision to stop flying the American flag.
“I was curious to know if President Lash really believed that removing our flag is a better way to assuage the fears of his frightened students, than simply educating them about the undeniable fact that no country on the planet affords its citizens more liberty than this one?” Rowe wrote.
Rowe, in his Facebook post, called schools that accept federal money but won’t fly the American flag hypocritical. He noted that Hampshire College is a school that benefits from accepting students’ federal financial aid because they can then raise tuition costs of their school.
“I found myself wondering as to why the President of Hampshire College would allow his students to pay for their tuition with federal dollars – federal dollars provided by the same government whose flag was no longer suitable to fly at his school,” Rowe wrote.
One Facebook user replied to Mike Rowe’s Facebook post, saying that she was disappointed in what he said in his post.
Rowe wrote her response in his Facebook post:
“How did you become so blindly patriotic? First of all, the college you were referencing in your rant about the American flag is a private college and doesn’t receive federal funding. However…the very essence of freedom in this country is our right to speak out against the flag, which is a mere symbol. If you take away that right, then we have lost all freedom.”
Rowe issued a response to the woman in the Facebook post saying that the American flag is not just a “mere symbol.”
“If you really believe our flag is nothing but a ‘mere symbol,’ equally suitable for flying or burning, ask yourself if you’d be comfortable if the people you work with suddenly started coming to the office in pointy white hats fashioned from bedsheets? Would that be a problem for you? Or how about The Rainbow Flag, favored by the LGBTQ community? Would it be OK if people started burning that? If not, why not? I mean, it’s only a symbol, right?” Rowe wrote.
“The thing about ‘mere symbols’ Susanne, is that they represent ‘mere ideas,’ and ‘mere ideas’ are the backbone of ‘mere humanity,'” he added. “In the case of the flag, we’re talking about ideas that are wrapped into the Constitution – a document that separates us from every other country on the planet.”