Students in Washington DC were confused to see the American flag, which they don’t believe is a symbol of freedom, flown by Cuban citizens in recent protests against the communist government. One student suggested Cuban anti-communists should fly the flag of Sweden.
On Sunday, thousands of Cubans took to the streets to demand an end to the 62-year-old communist regime, chanting, “Down with the dictatorship,” and “We want liberty,” while waving American flags.
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So Campus Reform’s Ophelie Jacobson went to the U.S. Capitol, where she asked students about the American flag, and what it means to them.
When asked if she believes the American flag represents freedom, one student said, “No, I don’t.”
“I don’t think it’s as free as people think it is, and I just think it’s a piece of cloth at the end of the day,” another answered.
“I think it once did, but honestly, like, recently, I’m not too sure anymore, ’cause with, like, everything going on, I don’t know, just, I think, like, we once were free, but with now, like, there’s, like, just new laws, and, like, new things coming about that I don’t know if that’s true anymore,” a third student said.
When asked to elaborate on the laws the student was referring to, the student said, “I don’t know, just, I, like, feel like, everything’s, like, kind of blocked off.”
Jacobson then asked the student why she believes anti-communist demonstrators are flying the American flag during their protests, to which the student answered:
I mean, I’m from Ukraine, and so, you know, we obviously love America over there too, but the stigma is, like, you come to America, you get everything you want, and so, like, coming here, like, it’s obviously a lot different, like, you actually have to, like, you know, work for your stuff, and, like, so I think, like, maybe in countries over there, they’re just, like, maybe they’re just not keeping up with, like, the news around here or something or, like, they’re maybe, like, thinking that, like, everything’s fine over here and stuff.
When asked if anti-communist protesters are naive to be flying the American flag, another student said, “Yeah, I’d say so. I’d say they don’t really know, like, what’s going on.”
The student elaborated on his comment, by claiming that “college-aged students” have “a pretty firm understanding” of what’s going on in America.
“Like, our demographic, they are, like, the only ones, for the most part, who truly understand. College-aged students have, like, a pretty firm understanding of, like, for the most part of, like, what’s going on, and, like, I guess all the inequity in America,” the student said.
When asked if there is another country’s flag that the anti-communist protesters should be flying, another student said, “Maybe, like Sweden. I don’t know, some of the — some European countries I think are definitely doing equality on a better… or doing better on equality.”
“I’d say if, like, they’re trying to symbolize equity, then, like, I’d say either France or Switzerland,” another student answered.
“What’s the country where, like, there’s not even really a prison system? They have, like, a really low crime rate, like, what is that country?” asked a third student.
In an attempt to answer that student’s question, another student said, “I’ve seen, like, maybe on, like, social media and stuff where, like, they’ve talked about, like, I don’t know, like, some place that, like, it’s just, yeah, like, the crime rate’s low, and everything’s, like, fine, and it’s not like this.”