An adapted version of the American flag is causing quite a flap at Middle Tennessee State University.
October is LGBT History Month, and to mark the occasion, members of the group MT Lambda hung the flag in the Walker Library on campus. Like the American flag, it has 50 stars embossed over a sea of blue, but unlike the hallowed symbol, its stars aren't red or white but red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.
"It has the six colors of the rainbow on it, and it's indicative of the entire community," said MT Lambda president Joshua Rigsby.
While some see it as a symbol of unity and tolerance, others say it's sacrilege.
"We did not think this flag was going to be what sparked off any problems," Rigsby said.
The flag is part of a display that includes artifacts and memorabilia commemorating 25 years of the organization on campus. The student group has been representing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students at MTSU since 1988.
"It's indicative of the fact that LGBTs are Americans also. We're having to fight for the same rights that heterosexual people have to fight for every day," Rigsby said.
MTSU graduate Ralph Drye said he doesn't have a problem with the people, just the flag.
"To take that flag and to change it is what's wrong," he said. "I don't care if they're right, left or center."
Library staff say the display was meant merely to educate, not to sway anyone's opinion or to convert people to an LGBT lifestyle.
"The display itself is a historic display of its origins, of its annual events and its influence on the campus," said library dean Bonnie Allen.
School officials added the library welcomes all student groups to put up displays to educate others about their organizations.
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