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Petition to Moravian: Fly the Flag at Half-Staff

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Dear President Grigsby,

Thank you for your January 29 email to the Moravian College community addressing the recent executive order issued 1/29/17, banning entry to the United States by citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

This ban is an unprecedented attack on the ideals of democracy, and it violates the fundamental American principle of religious freedom. As such, it is of particular concern to us at Moravian College, which, as you note in your message, was founded by a group of refugees fleeing religious persecution.

We are grateful for your statement of support for Moravian College’s international student population, and for announcing that we at Moravian College “join the Association of American Universities statement calling for an end to this travel ban that affects so many legal citizens, including students and faculty.”

Inspired by those who have issued a similar petition at Swarthmore College, we the undersigned ask that, in protest of this cruel and immoral executive order, and in support of all who are suffering its devastating effects, Moravian College fly its flag at half-mast for a minimum of one week—or ideally for the duration of the ban. We also ask that the College continue to condemn the ban in the strongest possible terms.

As noted by the signers of the Swarthmore petition:

Flags are usually lowered in mourning of death, and refugees denied entry will die. Flags can also be lowered in distress and protest. After President Trump’s election, students at Hampshire flew the flag at half-mast to protest the disastrous outcome.

This proposal is not disrespectful of the flag. Quite the opposite: We recognize the flag’s symbolic meaning and the noble principles it stands for. But when these very principles are trampled by the executive branch, lowering the flag in protest signals respect for these values, and fear for their survival.

Thank you for your attention to our request.

Sincerely,

Joyce Hinnefeld,English Department
Kelly Denton-Borhaug, Religion Department
John Black, English Department
Daniel Jasper, Sociology and Anthropology Department
Erica Yozel, Department of Modern Languages & Literatures
Carol Moeller, Philosophy Department
Stacey Zaremba, Psychology Department
Theresa Dougal, English Department
Dana Dunn, Psychology Department
Khristina Haddad, Political Science Department
Virginia Adams O’Connell, Sociology and Anthropology Department
Sandy Bardsley, History Department
Kin Cheung, Religion Department
Meg Mikovits
Diane White Husic, Dean, School of Natural and Health Sciences
John Reynolds
Deborah Appler, Seminary
Sean O’Boyle, Artist-in-Residence (Music)
Alex Buzick, Department of Modern Languages & Literatures
Amy Holtzman Vazquies, Psychology Department
Naomi Gal
Claudia Mesa, Department of Modern Languages & Literatures
Christopher Jones, Department of Biological Sciences
Arash Naraghi, Philosophy and Religion Departments
Belinda Waller-Peterson
Dylan Hutchinson
Christian Sinclair, International Studies
Jamie Paxton, History
Bob Brill, Dept. of Psychology
Cecilia M. Fox, Neuroscience Program
Josh Sobchak
Anastasia Thevenin, Biology
Jane Berger
Sabrina Terrizzi, Economics and Business Department
Chelsea Morales, Education Department
Bob Mayer, Emeritus, Education Department
Marissa Blose
Sienna Mae Heath
Erica Heusser
Kelly Grab, ’11, BA English
Sarah Goletz
Carolyn Whyley, class of 2011
Kristina Crescente, Class of 2009
Elizabeth Festa, Class of 2009
Sharad KC, Class of 2011
Alexis Katchuk, Class of 2000
Rev. James Lavoy, ’10 ’14
Andrew Piccone, class of 2008
Laura (Hullfish) Caiola
Megan Maxwell ’08
Phuong Huynh, Class 2011
Rachel Kleiner
Katelyn Snyder
Jasmin Mauer, ’08
Kara Polhemus, Alumna
Jessica Rosato
Samantha Salvati, Class of 2015
Chrissy Sabo
Katie Trinisewski, ’11
Christine Bishop, ’15
Sean Darcy, Class of 2011
Lisa Meixell ’15
Kaila Heydlauf, Class of 2014
Taylor Leonard ’10
Ian Jay Vogler, c/o 2013
Vince Confalone, Class of 2015
Eva Cizkova
Marlon Moraga
Sandra Aguilar, History Department
Ellen Williams, Class of 2011
Leon Edelman ’09
Dalia Omran, Class of 2015
Meghan Santamaria ’16
Tina Vo, ’11
Darby Codd, ’15
Marianne C. Zwicker, Class of 1999
Sarah Jackson
Kelsey Bailey 2015
Justin Sinkbeil, ’14
Carolyn Merkt, Class of 2012
Photini Petrides, ’15
Erica Larson, Alumnae ’07
Megan Mummey, Class of 2015
Faramarz Farbod, Political Science
Jody Vickers Bortz ’96
Brittany Beard Clingan, ’12
Kevin Kirsche, ’12
Zachary Roth, ’10
Casey Schweppenheiser, Esq. ’12
Jacqueline Baker, ’09
Marissa Ramirez ’07
Katia Ponomareva, ’11
Kara Heck Kline ’00
Lizabeth Kay Kleintop, PhD
Debra Torok, Music and Art Departments
Crystal Fodrey, English Department
Daniel Waingarten, 2006
Rachel Starmer, Seminary
Becky Ginther, ’10
Brenda Lange
Justin Holguin
Todd D. Johnson, B.S. Biology 2009
Corrin Magditch, ’13
Daniel Ferman, Class of ’14
Kaytlyn Gordon ’19
Carolyn King, Class of 2009
Mike Watson, Class of ’11
Ruby Garbely, ’12
Katherine Gallagher ’09
Galen Godbey, Phd, Visiting Professor of Management
Peter Richmond
Francine Jeans ’11
DaJuon Hibbert ’19
Shelby Morgan ’16
Alyssa M. Boursiquot ’18
Monica Richardson ’18
Eric L. Morton, Jr. ’18
Julia Brady ’17
Amalia Milly Dignetti, Class of 2001
Kaitlyn Rossi ’17
Emeley Reyes ’17
Alexandra Santoro, ’11
Samantha Manno 2018
Armando Moritz-Chapelliquen ’12
Carolyn King
Jonathan Rupell
William Falla
Janae Matos ’18
Amy Gerney, Occupational Therapy
Daniel P. Vagnoni, Class of 2015
Cleo Massas, class of 2016
Bill Trub ’03
Anthony Hendrickson ’14
Martha (Houska) Zane, class 2012
Mykala L. Biechy, Class 2018
Na’im Pretlow ’19
Emma Hutchman ’20
Bernard J. Byrne ’10
Cody Yarnall
Nilvia Vazquez ’16
Rakan Alkethiery
Johanna Nussbaumer
Caitlyn Heil ’16
Adriana Facchiano
Robb Fillman
Jaime (Wassmer) Black ’02
Max Kraft ’18
Elyse Giaimo-Tavares, 2010
Jeff Gallagher, Class of 2015
Myles Darcy ’11
Victoria E. Ruibal ’15
Danielle Oehlert
Alejandra Kaplan, ’16
Sara Weidner
Lisa Anne Simon
Amanda Holmes
Natalie Lukehart
Karina Fuentes
Amanda Azar
Robert Puszka
Corinne Philbin
Tiffany McSherry, ’01
Carol Traupman-Carr
Joshua D. Toth
Billy Mewton, international student 2016/17
Ciara Stewart ’18
Sol Moreno 2020
Saul De Leon 2020
Isaiah Jennings 2017
Chris McGinnis
Tanisha Pierre
Tyron Brown
Zixuan Huang
James Murray ’19
Kate Cohen, ’14
Patrick Manturi
Rachel Loughry
Casey Raymond
John Gleason
Rachel Farmer, 2019
Jean-Pierre Lalande, Prof. of French/Political Science
Brigid Darrah ’18
Shane Hansen ’18
Emily Goodman Vendrick ’04
Aldana Sanchez-Arias, 2018
Vaughn Tempesta ’19
Antonia Aita 2019
Cait Gaskill
Luis C. Rojas 2020
Jonathan Fiore ’18
Megan Rusinko
Justin Vatti, 2020
James Gardineer
Christina LaVecchia, ’07
Kelsey Bull
Shannon Mulvihill
Jessica Puckett, ’12
Anna Lamoureaux ’17
Joshua Pradhan ’20
Evan Wineburgh 2019
Jennifer Littlefield, ’05
Sean E. Rossiter ’15
Breanne Pirino ’17
Savanna Paxton
Julia Bailey ’12
Skylar Eidem
Andrew Crooke, English Department
Ellyce Nieves
William Collins, 2017
Erin Martin ’09
Katie DeVito
Kyle Lavigne ’09
Michael O’Gorman, ’13
Ashley Frick ’17
Fatma Susan Tufan ’16
Tino Vo, ’11
Clint Doyle ’16
Brianna Marmol
Michael Hofmann Jr. ’15
Joyce-Marie Gearhart ’16
Adam Marsala ’17
Rob Stevens ’76
Catherine Felegi, 2010
Bujar Shkreli
Alyssa Ascher ’16
Meghan McLaughlin, ’13
Maura K. Acox ’11
Gail Bauer Weber
Diana Feldmann, ’12
Lauren Balbierer
Andy Knauss
Chris Morgan ’06
Steve Delturk ’13
Anna-Elyse Kahnert ’20
Alyssa Flannery ’20
Kristy Harrison ’18
Kara Mosovsky, Department of Biological Sciences
Samantha Pitcher ’10
Gabby Roe
Micah E Leonard ’13
Cecelia Zutic, ’20
Alexandra Poncelet, class of 2017
Kendall McLaughlin ’18
Bernie Cantens
Jeremy Davidheiser ’13
Sarita Garg
Amanda Crawford
Dylan McDonald ’17
Steph Molerio Class of 2020
Megan Konrath
Andy Leavitt ’07
Scott Rader ’20
Ashley Steinberg ’18
Julieanne Siragusa ’17
Hannah Wood ’01
Erin Anastas ’98
Sarah White
Michael McCartney
Abigail Rodriguez, ’20
Devyn Lapp ’20
Vina Andrea Aguirre
Daniel Kilgallen, 2018
Walter Heath
Corey Kinley ’99
Seymour Buhts ’69
Patrick McDermott ’08
Gerald D. Vinci ’01
Leslie Alteri, 2002
Brittany Greenleaf, ’10
Scott Heydt, ’02
Tom Flannery
Steven Inghram, 2010
Cheryl Baker, ’82
Sean Berk, ’99
Jenn Checkley, Class of 2011
DeAnna Stocker, Class of 2020
Rachel Wolff
Vanessa Kaki
Thaise McCauley
Matthew Sarro, ’07
Cory M. Creen ’14
Brian J. McCoy, ’12
Kaitlyn Vitone 17
Glenn F. Heintzelman, 1971
Naomi Smith
Rachel DeLucia, class of 2014
Jocelyn Bellew Dickey ’99
Lauren Mulvaney ’16
Jessica Donovan ’17
Carole Burkhardt, BA Music ’82 Ed Cert ’86
Jillian McLuhan ’20
Maryellen Nyce, Class of 2010
Paige Hawk
Frank Kuserk, Environmental Studies & Sciences
Alexa Quintana
Francesca Caruso
Frankie Sparacio
Courtney L Werner ’06

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29 Comments

29 Responses to “Petition to Moravian: Fly the Flag at Half-Staff”

  1. Donald St. John on January 31st, 2017 5:44 pm

    Great idea. Let Moravian truly be a little or maybe strongly revolutionary (a very ancient idea and action for the U.S.). “Higher” education does not simply mean a chance for a higher paying job or higher position. Our students need to distinguish themselves from so many who are fixated on jobs or alcohol. Let’s draw upon our best.

    [Reply]

    Brian W. Smith Reply:

    First of all lets look at this ban and why President Trump is doing this. How many attacks were there over the past few years . 911 where thousands of Americans were killed or injured, Fort Hood, Boston Marathon, San Bernadino where 14 innocent people where killed. All the killing was done by Muslim extremist who came into this country not properly vetted. It was after this event that during the presidential campaign that Trump made the statement banning all muslims until we can figure out whats going on. What upset me the most was the media seemed more upset at his statement where he might have misspoke or overstated his position to appear more tough on terrorism then the cold hard fact that 14 innocent people were murdered by muslim extremists. The truth is that radical islam can hide itself behind moderate muslims to try and blend in until the strike with devastating consequences. The purpose of the travel ban as you call it is to put a pause on travel and definetly the refugee program and during this time check computer records and look into past activities of immagrants and refugees wanting to come into this country and develop a better system of vetting to make our country safe from people wanting to harm US citizens. If this 90 day ban can save even 1 life it is well worth every temporary inconvenience it causes. It is not an attack on our values or anything else and lets take a look a similar situations. Jimmy Carter banned people coming from IRan during the hostage crisis during 1980 and Barack Obama had a 120 ban on people coming from Iraq. I don’t see any protest of those events but because Donald Trump is a republican and not a democrat then everyone is up in arms. Trumps new ban is a ban on people coming from 6 countries that practice terror it is not a muslim ban. If he chose to ban muslims coming into our country he would have chosen Indonesia or Turkey and several other countries with a higher muslim population then the ones he chose. Tough times call for tough decisions and I’m glad I have a president who stans up for American safety over a 90 day inconvenience.

    [Reply]

  2. KeriLyn Burrows on January 31st, 2017 7:08 pm

    From my anti-war days, I remember that flying the flag upside down was also a symbol of distress.

    [Reply]

  3. Clarke Chapman on January 31st, 2017 8:46 pm

    A great symbolic action , demonstrating our common sorrow at this betrayal of our nation’s heritage..

    [Reply]

  4. Clarke Chapman on January 31st, 2017 8:48 pm

    a most fitting demonstration of our community’s sorrow at this ominous betrayal of our nation’s values.

    [Reply]

  5. Catherine Makoski on February 1st, 2017 7:58 am

    I agree, this would be a fitting response to the inhumane acts of the administration and the pain it has caused many individuals and families.

    [Reply]

  6. Concerned Veteran on February 1st, 2017 8:47 am

    The American flag being lowered to half staff is used to symbolize the death of brave men and women that have served the country in unselfish ways. To take this symbolic act and twist it so it can be use as a form of protest is disrespecting the individuals that have earned the right for the flag flown at half staff. The article states that the men, women, and children will die that are denied entry. That is the school’s reason for the half staff, along with the distress the school thinks this country is in because of the executive order that mimics the immigration laws we had before president Obama. I do not condemn the school to protest this way. There are other ways to voice an opinion. This country thinks that disrespect needs to be answered with more disrespect. You can protest in a honorable way that does not only make you as a school look childless and ignorant, but makes anyone that has had a fallen love one in battle sacrifice their memory to the memory of a protest.

    [Reply]

    Kelly Grab '11 Reply:

    Yes, according to Flag Code the U.S. President or state governor are the only individuals authorized to determine flag lowering for governmental entities; however, according to §173, display and use of a flag by civilians; codification of rules and customs; definition: “The following codification of existing rules and customs pertaining to the display and use of the flag of the United States of America is established for the use of such civilians or civilian groups or organizations as may not be required to conform with regulations promulgated by one or more executive departments of the Government of the United States. The flag of the United States for the purpose of this chapter shall be defined according to sections 1 and 2 of title 4 and Executive Order 10834 issued pursuant thereto.”

    There are of course many opinions about whether or not private citizens lowering the flag without official authorizations is appropriate; however, to do so is a right nonetheless.

    [Reply]

    Concerned Vet Reply:

    The Executive Order 10834 in Section 7, segment m. states that the flag flown at Half mass is to honor those fallen that hold a position with in the service to the country.
    By order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential instructions or orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law.
    So unless you want to be completely disrespectful in the notion of lowing the American Flag for immigrants. I repeat immigrants , not American citizens. Then your morals, integrity, and courage for the men and women that have done great things for you is discussing.
    If you want to lower a flag to half staff then lower the Moravian College flag to Half staff or better idea find some other way to voice your opinion about the ban. If I would disrespect your family and friends you would not like it. So why disrespect my lost brothers and sisters, that I have carried off the battle field

    USMC 1st battalion 2nd marine division
    Charlie Company, Machine gun section
    afghan war May 2011- Dec 2011 , Sept 2013 – April 2014

    [Reply]

    Kelly Grab '11 Reply:

    And, while we may “agree to disagree” on the appropriateness of flag lowering in this instance, I sincerely thank you for your service. I have loved many veteran family members and friends. I honor those who have passed and wish to bring our active service members home. Hopefully those who have and will serve receive the support they need upon return to civilian life so that they are supported physically, emotionally, and financially.

    [Reply]

  7. Doug Bauder on February 1st, 2017 8:50 am

    Thank you, President Grigsby, for your principled leadership in response to Donald Trump’s travel ban.
    I proudly stand in solidarity with your actions and see the flag at half staff on campus as a fitting sign of our collective protest.
    Doug Bauder, Class of 1971
    Director, LGBTQ+ Culture Center, Indiana University
    2014 Recipient, Benigna Education Award

    [Reply]

  8. Heidi Zwicker on February 1st, 2017 9:38 am

    I agree and think that this would be a fitting symbolic action to demonstrate our concern about this attack on religious freedom.
    Class of ’98

    [Reply]

  9. Patrick Sutton on February 1st, 2017 10:36 am

    What a disrespectful symbol. A flag at half staff is reserved for an honorable person who passes away – not simply in “protest” because one is unhappy with an election result.

    This very idea is so un-patriotic that I can’t even believe it was a suggestion!

    [Reply]

  10. Mark maglione on February 1st, 2017 12:48 pm

    As a Moravian graduate I have a strong fondness for my time spent here. I cannot urge you enough to reconsider this position. We can protest actions in other ways. Flying the flag at half staff is a symbol of remembrance and honor for the brave men and women who died protecting this country and our citizens. We must uphold this symbol of honor for those who pay the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom. This is not about politics, but rather the reverence and respect that those who gave everything to defend that flag deserve.

    Respectfully,

    Mark – Class of 2009

    [Reply]

  11. Nick Tone on February 1st, 2017 1:38 pm

    Don’t agree with this, this is not a valid reason to fly the flag at half-staff.

    [Reply]

  12. Concerned Alum on February 1st, 2017 2:54 pm

    So, where was this same protest when our other Presidents imposed a ban/restriction/limitation in one fashion or another? Also, to what end? What is the goal we are trying to accomplish here? Is it that we want to change our Constitution to limit the President’s power? Is it that we want to just let everyone in, no matter their origin or valid paperwork? This protest would elicit from me the question, “who died?” This does nothing to make me think I should be mad that this President has done what other Presidents have done. If you/we are angry, then let’s focus our effort and energy to elect representatives to government that reflect our views. Is this flag to fly at half-staff until the next general election?

    Remember, the power you are protesting is the same framework that allows for the Moravians to practice religion, as well as our ability to have this dialog.

    [Reply]

  13. Michael O'Gorman on February 1st, 2017 6:32 pm

    To the alumni choosing unbridled patriotism over humanity: I implore you to think more deeply about your education and the interconnectedness that it should have fostered. It is the responsibility of us, those educated in the tradition of the liberal arts, to masterfully interpret and make sense of what is happening in the world. Moreover, it is our duty to use this education to liberate others regardless of what artificial lines are drawn on a map.

    [Reply]

  14. Ryan Vanderhoff on February 2nd, 2017 4:13 am

    As a veteran of the armed forces I’m disappointed that students and faculty would sign this petition. There are many appropriate ways to protest the recent executive order on immigration, but disrespecting this country’s flag isn’t one of them. If you’re reading this and are confused, angered and/or upset by my statement, please scroll up and read the section of executive order 10834 that concerned vet has generously provided. I will not respond to comments.

    United States Army
    3ID Division Artillery

    [Reply]

    Chris Luehs Reply:

    Thank you for your service keeping our freedom safe, I completely agree that this is disrespect to our flag and all the men and women who fight to keep it flying. I’m truly disappointed that my school wants to use a way to pay respect to the fallen as a form of protest.

    [Reply]

    Patrick Drum, '17 Reply:

    Definitely doesn’t express the views of everyone individual, including myself. I strongly disagree with this idea.

    [Reply]

    Patrick Drum, '17 Reply:

    ^was meant to be its own comment not a reply. I agree with Ryan.

    [Reply]

    W. Frey Reply:

    I disagree if Moravian takes this path of protest. The flag represents ALL Americans not just a few. My contributions might be small but they will be no more!

    [Reply]

  15. current student on February 2nd, 2017 9:34 am

    As a current student here, I would be embarrassed by this action. This would be disrespecting so many people, as well as the meaning of the flag itself. If someone is not happy with an action of the government, doing something to disrespect the country is certainly not the answer. I am very disappointed that the school I call my home would even suggest this.

    [Reply]

  16. Patrick Drum, '17 on February 2nd, 2017 10:45 am

    Definitely doesn’t express the views of everyone individual, including myself. I strongly disagree with this idea.

    [Reply]

  17. Vanessa Kaki on February 2nd, 2017 11:50 am

    This needs to be a thing to happen.

    [Reply]

  18. Concerned student on February 2nd, 2017 4:47 pm

    So everyone is mentioning military? What about our officers in the line of duty?

    Whether agree or disagree I think the theme is simple we have a diverse population that we need to protect and work towards helping. We are quick not to like an it but no one is quick on a solution.

    What is the solution?

    [Reply]

  19. Richie Roman on February 2nd, 2017 6:12 pm

    I find this a ridiculous way to protest what our president is doing in the Oval Office (even though president Obama did the same thing). This is incredibly disrespectful to the people who have died serving our country. There are so many ways to protest. Hanging the flag that our brothers and sisters die protecting at half mast is not one of them.

    [Reply]

  20. Margaret Snyder on February 3rd, 2017 12:02 pm

    The flag of the United States must not be pressed into the service of a political agenda. The fact that none of the signers of this petition expressed any similar objection in January when President Obama turned back refugees from the island prison of Cuba confirms that this petition is in furtherance of a political agenda.

    [Reply]

  21. Steven Laubach on February 4th, 2017 10:43 am

    As a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and the Gulf War and law enforcement for the past 25 years. I am completely offended by the thought of lowering our beloved American flag as a one sided political statement!
    Our elected president has a duty to protect the United States citizens. It is also not a right for anyone to just gain entry to our country but go through a process.

    Don’t disrespect our nation’s flag by playing politics go to your own house and do that!

    [Reply]

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