BATON ROUGE, La.—Black activists are upset by a purple-and-gold version of the Confederate battle flag waved by some Louisiana State University fans at sports events.
The modified banner is popular with many LSU students.
“It represents two different things that I’m proud of,” said sophomore Harper Hollis, referring to Southern heritage and the state’s largest university.
“In this great nation and at this great university, we are free to express ourselves. We need to defend this right of free speech,” the statement says. “As such, we cannot and will not ban or prohibit the display of symbols. To do so would impede and inhibit free speech. But that doesn’t mean we should sanction irresponsibility. We cannot accept intolerance or actions that are designed to provoke racial divisiveness and hatred.”
“We need to send a strong message to those within our family and those visiting our campus that LSU does not condone or support the display of this symbol,” the statement adds.