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Can a state university require that an American flag not be displayed in a dorm room?

Carbondale, IL |
Filed under: Education law

I ask this question for the reason that I have been confronted by university housing staff and am being required to take a United States flag down from my wall for the reason that it is an offensive object for the general populace. This being said, there is a rule which states "Window decorations are restricted to holiday or (college) spirit items and
cannot be posted outside the window." For clarification, the American flag is not outside of a window and it is not in direct sight of any persons unless they are looking three stories up as they walk.

Attorney Answers 1


  1. As long as they are universally applied, schools and universities can make any policy rules that they choose, even if the rule seems to be unreasonable, unfair, or unpatriotic. Perhaps if you contact housing staff management, you may learn the purpose for the rule. You may also be able to get the housing staff to reconsider its request and allow you to display your flag. Before you approach the housing staff, you should review the rules provided for you when you moved into your dorm. If you do not have a copy of the rules, one should be made available for you.

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