The University of Vermont has raised another Black Lives Matter flag to fly alongside the U.S. and state flags after the first one was stolen Saturday night.
The flagpole outside the Dudley H. Davis Center, which is often reserved by student groups to express support for various issues, was found bare Sunday morning after the initial controversy over the Black Lives Matter flag made national news.
The UVM Student Government Association had sponsored the Black Lives Matter flag to be flown through Monday evening in recognition of recent police shootings of black men in Tulsa and Charlotte, the Burlington Free Press reported.
“Last night, the Black Lives Matter flag on the UVM campus was stolen,” the group said in a statement Sunday. “This action underscores the necessity in this country to engage in a frank and open discussion about the injustices that so many Americans face simply because of the color of their skin. We as a nation will not be able to address these challenges unless we fully acknowledge that there is a problem.”
Campus police referred questions about the incident to a campus spokesman, who later issued a statement confirming a police investigation into the theft, the Free Press reported.
“A replacement Black Lives Matter flag will be obtained and should be in place later this afternoon,” university spokesman Enrique Corredera said in a statement.
Ivonne Headley, a building manager at the Davis Center, also reported damage to the flagpole. The stolen flag had been replaced by Sunday afternoon, the Free Press reported.
Student activist Akilah Ho-young said she was touched to see the replacement.
“I just feel like UVM took a step in the right direction,” she told the Free Press. “The flag being stolen does not change my feelings about UVM because I know that not everyone is going to be in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.”
The University of Vermont told Campus Reform that any student organization can go through the process to sponsor a flag on the flagpole.
“UVM supports free expression, and other university groups are welcome to propose flags with information that they wish to express,” said Enrique Corredera, executive director of public affairs.
“From the Rainbow flag to celebrate marriage equality or to support our community following the targeted shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, to the national flag of China to celebrate the arrival of the first students from China, to the new national flag to celebrate the forming of South Sudan as a new country, to the flag of Haiti following the natural disaster that destroyed much of their country, the Davis Center has worked with groups who seek to teach and support the principles of social justice and community,” Mr. Corredera said.