Hampshire College is the 3rd largest landowner in Amherst (but pays no property taxes)
So you know an issue has really gone stratospheric on the national stage when Snopes weighs in on it.
The flag controversy at Hampshire College -- or perhaps I should say the lack of a flag -- is streaking along the same fast track to Public Relations nightmare Amherst regrettably wallowed in 15 years ago ... a shit-storm only pigs would love.
On the eve of 9/11 the Amherst Select Board voted to allow 29 commemorative flags to fly in the downtown on only 6 occasions and to keep them down until the first day on that list -- Veteran's Day.
At that now infamous 9/10/01 meeting a UMass professor branded our flag "A symbol of terrorism and death and fear and destruction and repression." It would be later dubbed by the Wall Street Journal in a front page article as "The ill timed quote of the century."
Because of course only 12 hours later terrorism and death and fear and destruction reined down from a crystal clear blue sky, and before the smoke cleared 3,000 innocent people were dead.
To show what a slows news day 9/11 started out as, the Associated Press put out a brief mention of the Amherst flag flap story around dawn that morning.
In the wake of information overload a few hours later as stunning images beamed worldwide of Twin Towers making their last stand, both Fox News and CNN erroneously reported that Amherst was banning the rights of private citizens to fly the American flag.
And now we have Snopes correcting that same mistake about the current flag flap.
Obviously Hampshire College President Jonathan Lash has little to no institutional memory, otherwise he would have leaned from the Amherst 9/11 commemorative flag debacle.
Especially since Hampshire College students and a professor were involved with burning American flags at an Amherst College rally only six weeks later, which garnered nationwide condemnation.
Let's hope Mr. Lash shows up Sunday afternoon for the rally-round-the-flag demonstration at his front gate.
After all, seeing is believing. (But you have to remove your head from your ass.)