Student: 100 support effort to raise Pan-African flag


NEW ORLEANS (April 11, 2013)-A petition has been started to have the Pan-African flag, also called the black liberation flag, flown on campus.

Psychology junior Virginia White started it all. The Montrose, Ark., native will tell you her purpose for starting the petition on her campus to raise the Pan-African flag is simple: pride.

Meanwhile, a student attempt March 28 to add the flag to the flagpole on which the U.S. flag flies lasted less than an hour before its removal by campus police.

PR spokeswoman Mona Duffel-Jones said the flag was removed because it’s a Dillard tradition that no flag fly on the same pole as the American flag. Duffel-Jones said it could be possible for students to their own flagpole on campus for the Pan-African flag, but no promises were made.

White said, “By law, no flag can be bigger or fly higher than the American flag on the same pole. We raised the Pan-African flag below the American flag, which means that we should have the right to keep it up.

“I believe we should honor the flag at our HBCU,” said White. “It would instill pride among the Dillard community.”

The petition was started in February, and White said she has more than 100 signatures. Once White has acquired what she believes will be “enough” signatures, she will turn them in to Dr. Toya Barnes-Teamer, vice president for Student Success.

White said research on the colors in the Pan-African flag represent show, “Red represents the bloodshed of the African ancestors, black represents the race of the black people and green symbolizes the land of Africa.”

Students who were asked about the idea had varying viewpoints.

Michael Brathwaite, a junior nursing major from New Jersey, said, “I don’t know, I wouldn’t care for it…No one knows what it represents and majority of Dillard students will not agree for the use.”

On the other hand, Julia Johnson, a music sophomore from Las Vegas, was pleased with the idea.

“The Pan-African flag should have already been established on campus since we are a black institution. Raising the flag shouldn’t even be in question,” said Johnson.

White conceded the flag might be controversial but said it will benefit the student body.