Students Demand That Officials Ban Confederate Flags From Va. Campus

AP

Students at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. are demanding that the school ban Confederate flags on campus, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

Students also want the school to stop allowing “neo-Confederate” marches on Campus on Lee-Jackson day, a Virginia holiday that falls on the Friday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The school is named in part after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, who is buried there. Eight Confederate battle flags hang in the Lee Chapel, according to the AP.

The group of students, who are calling themselves The Committee, told the school’s administration that they will commit acts of civil disobedience if the university did not meet their demands by Sept. 1. The students said they took action due to the “alienation and discomfort” they feel on campus.

Third year law student Dominik Taylor said that while students have felt uncomfortable with the Confederate symbols for a while, the events on Lee-Jackson day were the “last straw.”

“A lot of students of color have felt sort of ostracized during their time here,” he told the AP.

The Washington and Lee President President Kenneth Ruscio responded in a letter on Wednesday. He said that he took the students concerns seriously and that the school’s provost will speak with the students.

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