I hate your flags

The opinions represented in this article do not necessarily represent those of the staff of CUIndependent.com nor any of its sponsors.

I wake up to the sound of birds chirping and the sun pleasantly blinding me as I roll out of bed. It’s only 9 a.m. and I’m already warm, which means I get to wear shorts today with a pair of wicked sunglasses.

Spring is here!

I trot to class and pretend to take notes as I look out the window and daydream about sprawling out in Norlin Quad, where I can watch attractive people play Frisbee and attempt to get some homework done.

Running out of class, I make my way to the quad, ready for relaxation bliss – and then I see them.


They stand there quietly – keeping me unable to sprawl out on the grass like I’ve been planning all day – taunting me.

The truth is a lot of people put in a lot of time to make a statement with a vast assortment of flags. Topics such as the Iraq War, the Holocaust and awareness for various illnesses have all been stuck in the ground in the form of plastic flags in order to educate people and hopefully make a positive change.

Here is another truth – I don’t care.

I support causes, I care about people and I want to make a difference, too. However, people need to realize that to create action, they need to avoid apathy. Seeing cause after cause use the exact same method to educate year after year does not avoid apathy, it creates it.

I spend a lot of money to go to this school, and public grounds or not, I want to enjoy what CU has to offer – and that includes its grass. However, multiple flags over multiple months make that difficult, and that makes me angry.

There is so much going on in our lives, it takes a bit of a shock to get us talking. For example, there is the annual abortion display. It’s painful to look at and I avoid it as much as possible, but it makes a statement while remaining avoidable and out of my way.

While I try to avoid it, I still know exactly what it’s about and what it is trying to tell me. While I don’t approve of its message and find it to be crude, at least the anti-abortion people know how to reach the students.

People who leave flags of various colors in the ground don’t.

I consider disrespecting the flags and ripping some out to make room for myself, but then I realize that would only make it look like I have some crazy agenda when all I really want is a place to nap between classes with a nice view. So off I go to the UMC, the only other place close enough for me to go and have a decent amount of time to do something.

During this whole experience, I may have noticed what the flags are representing, but it is doubtful. To me, the purple flags have just as much meaning as the white ones and green ones – none. Now I sit in the UMC, looking for a decent chair to sit in, completely forgetting about how many people have died for whatever reason.

So here is my suggestion – be creative. For those who participate in the flag attacks, think of another way to reach people. Make big posters. Create stickers. Do a creative dance spontaneously during a passing period that will get people to stop and watch.

Do something different or be overlooked. Show me that you care by expressing some creativity, and maybe I’ll care, too.

Until then, I hope apathy saves me a seat in the UMC.

Contact CU Independent Managing Editor Cameron Naish at Naish@colorado.edu.

CU Independent

The CU Independent, or CUI for short, is the student news outlet for the University of Colorado at Boulder. We cover news, sports, politics, opinion, arts and entertainment and more. Our mission is to provide news and commentary that's for students and by students — about the things we care about.

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