Posted on: The Charlatan, October 27th, 2011
After requests from students, Carleton administration has asked that the Libyan flag hanging in the Unicentre atrium be removed and replaced with the new one, according to the department of university communications.
Students have been lobbying for the flag to be replaced since September, said Reda Zarrug, a public policy student who’s involved in the local Libyan community’s effort to support the National Transitional Council in Libya.
The substitution is especially relevant now with the recent death of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, and a more representative flag must be raised, Zarrug said.
“It’s the only solid colour flag in the world. It’s just all green,” said Zarrug, referring to the flag Gadhafi implemented after he seized power.
“We live in Canada, and just because we’re not in Libya does not mean we can’t do anything,” Zarrug said. “There’s so much more peaceful stuff that we can do here, and this is just a little gesture that we feel is necessary.”
The crescent and star flag the students were advocating for is actually the original flag of Libya, Zarrug explained. It was taken down and replaced with Gadhafi’s solid green flag in 1977.
“It’s not representative of the Libyan people,” said Ala Fallah, another public policy student at Carleton.
The new Libyan flag will be hung upon its arrival, according to Christopher Cline, the university’s media relations co-ordinator.
Zarrug said administration noted a new flag would take some time to arrive.
The new flag will replace the current one, hanging beside dozens of other flags in the atrium, representing Carleton’s diverse student body.
Kevin Gallinger, Carleton’s assistant director of maintenance, said the logistics of changing the flag isn’t complicated.
“If the country decides that it wants a new flag, and it is being manufactured, then changing a flag is like moving a chair for us,” Gallinger said.
Zarrug said a flag has been ordered and it will arrive on site in a few weeks.
“It’s been more than a dream come true to see this man in the state he is,” Fallah said, referring to Gadhafi. “Before, we didn’t associate him with a human being, but now it’s like I can’t even believe it.”
When asked what came to mind when he heard of Gadhafi’s capture, Zarrug replied with one word: “liberation.”
“It’s sad to see that the death of one human being makes so many people happy, but he’s brought so much misery to everybody in Libya,” Zarrug said. “It’s an amazing thing.”