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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Desert Museum flags will still fly

    After members of the Board of Trustees of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum met on Thursday, they decided to return the United States, Mexico and Arizona flags to the entrance of the museum.

    The flags previously had been taken down due to community pressure.

    Board

    We did not anticipate the degree of response this action would create and we regret any concerns that were generated.

    -Sophia Kaluzniacki,
    board chairwoman

    chairwoman Sophia Kaluzniacki said in a press release: “”On behalf of the board, we did not anticipate the degree of response this action would create and we regret any concerns that were generated.””

    Sonja Evans, a molecular and cellular biology senior, was surprised when she heard the museum was taking down the Mexico flag.

    “”It’s disappointing a science facility would cave to political pressure,”” she said. “”I was surprised they would take a side on a politically fueled debate. They are there to teach about the desert.””

    Evans agreed it was the right decision to return the flags.

    “”It is not right for them (the museum) to stick only a United States flag in the desert when it doesn’t just belong to them,”” she said. “”The desert has been there long before they decided to make an artificial, man-made line diving the border and the U.S.””

    Program Coordinator for the Center of Latin American Studies, Colin Deets, disagreed with all three flags being taken down.

    “”I think it is ridiculous to take down the flags,”” he said. “”The Sonoran desert stands for the two countries.””

    According to the museum’s Web site, desertmuseum.org, the tradition of the flags at the museum was recognized on Memorial Day 1954, when the governor of the state of Sonora presented the flag of the Republic of Mexico. It had been raised alongside the U.S. flag until it was removed by the museum last week.

    The museum has been collaborating with Mexico since it first opened in 1952.

    “”Both the hyphen in Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and the flags of Mexico and the United States of America recognize what one of this Museum’s founders, Bill Carr, expressed more than 50 years ago: ‘Nature knows no political boundary,’ “” according to desertmuseum.org.

    Robert Edison, the desert museum’s executive administrative director, said in a press release that the board’s decision to take down the flags was only supposed to be a temporary decision until they could review other options.

    “”Community support has been remarkable to continue the museum’s long-standing custom of flying the U.S., Mexico and Arizona flags,”” he said.

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