Confederate Flag Prompts UM to Review ‘No Banner’ Policy

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA – The University of Montana is revisiting its “no banner” policy after a flap over whether a student could display the Confederate flag.

Kyle Johnson, who grew up in Winchester, Va., says the flag is a symbol of his heritage and the nation’s history and argues that forcing him to remove it violates his constitutional right to freedom of speech.

Hanging the flag from his balcony railing did violate UM’s banner policy, but the school policy does not address decorations or posters hanging inside windows that are visible outside.

Johnson hung the flag inside his dorm room, which at the time was a study hall lounge. Someone broke in and took it last week.

Johnson, who has since moved to a fraternity house off campus, says he’ll pursue the issue as a matter of principle. And he says he’ll put up a Confederate flag again, as soon as he gets a new one.