The Young Conservatives of Texas at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, say that their anti-socialism display on campus was stolen overnight. The university claims to have no information about the memorial of 1,000 flags the students say they set up in memory of the more than 94 million victims of international socialism.
The group planted 1,000 red flags on a lawn on campus near the school’s student center to represent the more than 94 million lives lost to socialism, according to a report by Campus Reform. The display was allegedly “gone” the next morning.
“The whole entire memorial was gone, like no trace of it,” Sam Houston State student DianaLee Enriquez told Campus Reform.
The university’s Young Conservatives of Texas chapter chairman Johnny Uribe told the outlet that he initially thought “there was some kind of miscommunication between us and the school,” but that an administrator “reassured” him that the university was aware of the memorial, and did not remove it.
“I was in the office and I saw [the administrator] making calls to different departments such as the landscapers, groundskeepers, and janitorial crew, and they denied removing our memorial,” Uribe said.
The student added that the school administrator also called the campus police “to look at the cameras and investigate.”
“As part of a university internal investigation, officials checked with the Grounds Department to see if they had removed the flags, which they had not,” said the university’s public information officer Stephanie Knific.
“Additionally, staff checked dumpsters and trash receptacles to see if the flags had been discarded. None were found,” continued Knific, who added that the police said the conservative student group could file a police report if they want to pursue a criminal investigation.
On Friday, Uribe filed a police report with the University Police Department. Now there is an open and active investigation into the matter.
Uribe says that he believes the memorial was “stolen,” because a member of the school’s Young Democratic Socialists of America told him that another member of the pro-socialist club had posted a photo of the memorial in a group chat, calling it “utter bullshit.”
“As a public institution, Sam Houston State University values and protects First Amendment rights to express differing ideas, experiences and perspectives, which are essential to building and maintaining a learning environment of inquiry and pursuit of truth,” said Knific.
“SHSU encourages students to exercise their rights and help to build an environment of diverse thought, dialogue, and debate,” Knific added. “University officials work with all groups and organizations throughout the year to promote expressive activity and freedom of expression.”