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EIU unveils new “We Are EIU” flagpole

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CHARLESTON — Eastern Illinois University (EIU) unveiled its new “We Are EIU” unity flagpole on Friday.

The flagpole is intended to recognize the different communities on the EIU campus. The first flag to be raised was a Black Lives Matter flag.

“This is an important day for everyone in our EIU community, and an especially significant moment for members of our own EIU Family representing marginalized or minority populations,” said Dr. David Glassman, EIU President.

The flagpole will be used to spotlight other underrepresented groups throughout the year. The Black Lives Matter flag will fly for one week. A “Progress” flag, representing and honoring EIU’s LGBTQ communities, will take its place the following week. That flag will remain on the pole throughout the month of October in honor of Gender Sexual Diversity History month. Other flags will follow throughout the year, including flags intended to honor Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month, Latinx Heritage Month, and others.

“As an institution of higher education, we have a role in acknowledging, appreciating, and advocating for equality,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Anne Flaherty. “As a society, we still have work to do, but this is an important step in helping our underrepresented populations to be seen and to be heard within our own campus communities.”

EIU said in a press release that it installed the pole after students requested to fly the Black Lives Matter flag from the school’s main flagpole. It was denied because regulations limit EIU to flying United States, State of Illinois, and POW/MIA flags on the primary pole. The school built the new pole in the South Courtyard and instituted a new policy so other flags could be flown.

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