To the Editor:

Never before have I seen a column as lengthy and passionate as Tuesday’s (“Palestinian flag breaks Yale’s postering policy,” 4/23) written to decry an advertisement for a Baker’s Dozen jam or the Pierson Inferno. Perhaps this is understandable given the current political climate in the Middle East, or simply the controversial nature of the Palestinian flag. Yet yesterday’s author, Aaron Nagano, tries to convince us that his only provocation is the violation of Yale’s postering policy. Somehow, I suspect politics are involved as well.

As far as individual political expression on Yale property, with specific regard to this issue, what is to be said of the several Israeli flags hanging from dorm room windows around campus? Any other flags? Yale is an international institution, and its students represent many nations. Are we to say that only students from certain nations may express pride in their homeland on University property?

Further, though the method used to affix the Palestinian flag to Porter Gate is indeed unprecedented, perhaps the students responsible expected it to be torn down or vandalized simply because of its message. In light of the fact that the flag was ripped in half before even half of Nagano’s proposed two day limit had expired, it seems as if the flag-hangers may have been right. As far as I’m concerned, all members of the Yale community have as much a right to express their political views as to advertise their social events. I only lament the fact that in order to fairly express their sympathy for the Palestinian people, it was necessary for these flag-hanging students to take extra precautions. If Nagano wishes to discuss the politics of the issue, than he should write about politics. But disguising what clearly seem to be political views in a diatribe about postering policy seems counterproductive and unfair.

Emerson Hilton ’03

April 23, 2002