American University Students Burn Flags in Protest of Trump’s Victory

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Students at American University in Washington, D.C., torched American flags in protest of Donald Trump’s win in Tuesday’s presidential election.

According to The Washington Post, students at American University rallied in protest of the results of Tuesday’s presidential election. According to reports, protesters cursed at student Trump supporters and burned the American flag in rejection of Trump’s victory.

“This is a representation of America! We are going down in flames!” a female student yelled as she began to light an American flag on fire.

According to the report, over 200 students showed up to express their anger over the results of the election. Several students echoed the popular “#NotMyPresident” sentiment that has been a staple of this week’s national protests.

Camille Lepre, a spokeswoman from American University, issued a written statement Wednesday evening: “About 200 students convened this afternoon in a protest to express their reactions to the presidential election outcome. The university supported the free expression of views on all sides of the political spectrum. The expressions were at times heated, but peaceful and safe. The university does not condone the burning of the American flag, even though the act is protected speech.”

In video filmed at the protest, some people can be heard shouting that they have a right to political expression. (And others can be heard shouting, “Shut up!”)

In a year when freedom of speech, race and a polarizing election have been hotly debated, the scene still upset many at American University and far beyond its campus.

Lindsay Petelinkar, a sophomore from Pennsylvania, said she was “extremely shocked” by the scene. She supported Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton, as did most people she knows — “it’s a liberal campus,” she said — but she couldn’t believe people were burning the nation’s symbols.

“I was definitely uncomfortable, just — more in shock than anything, that a fellow student at my university would be willing to burn our nation’s flags and be happy about it and say this is a revolution, this is going to change everything,” she said.

She left, worried about what might happen next, and not wanting to be a part of it, even as an onlooker.

American University’s student body president, Devontae Torriente, released a statement in response to the flag burning. In the statement, Torriente claimed that the American University student government would be committed to remaining a nonpartisan organization, but that they would make sure that “students of color, LGBT+ students, Muslim students, Jewish students, women students, students with disabilities and survivors of sexual assault are to be respected, protected, supported and loved.”

Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity for Breitbart. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at


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