A display of 1,000 pink flags that a conservative student group placed on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) this week to memorialize the many lives lost to abortion disappeared in less than 12 hours.
The UT Austin chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT), various iterations of which have existed on campuses across Texas since the organization was first founded in 1980, arranged the flags on the grass Tuesday in front of the school’s iconic Tower. Each flag represented approximately 800 of the babies aborted each year.
Last night, we @yct planted 1,000 flags on the south lawn to memorialize the hundreds of thousands of unborn humans lost to abortion every year. Be sure to check out our memorial before it’s too late. pic.twitter.com/JgJKxZBL6V
— YCT at UT Austin (@TexasYCT) March 24, 2021
As YCT-UT showed on Twitter, the flags had been plucked up and taken away not long after they were placed.
Less than 12 hrs after we put up this memorial, it was taken down. It seems that reality is too hard for students who are supposed to “change the world” https://t.co/ACiXCxeWTe pic.twitter.com/6JlrCKArAJ
— YCT at UT Austin (@TexasYCT) March 24, 2021
YCT addressed the memorial’s disappearance in a press release late on Wednesday, saying in part: “This memorial was intended to send a message to the Texas Legislature, that we, the younger generation, venerate life from conception to natural death and will not stop praying and remembering the slain unborn until this barbaric practice is abolished.”
“All these leftists proved is that abortion kills more than a clump of cells,” said YCT-UT Chairman Jordan Clements. “They know deep down that it is human life being killed on the altar of convenience in our throwaway culture, so when our memorial made them face the harsh reality of how many are killed each year due to abortion, they decided to take it down and push our message out of sight.”
“It is a sad day for the state of higher education when liberal students feel that they are free to vandalize the peaceful demonstrations of conservative students,” said Ariana Silva, who is co-vice-chairman of YCT-UT. “This behavior is abhorrent and should be unthinkable.”
Our official statement on the desecration of our pro life memorial. https://t.co/SvAWnb5wWT pic.twitter.com/yUCogynjVe
— YCT at UT Austin (@TexasYCT) March 25, 2021
“The university strongly defends freedom of expression and has content-neutral processes protecting free speech activities,” said J.B. Bird, a spokesperson for the university, in a statement to The Daily Wire. “Outdoor areas are open to the public, and free speech activities, such as demonstrations, do not require university approval. Students and student organizations can apply through the Dean of Students’ Office to put up outdoor displays and exhibits.”
“The office has not had any students reach out about this exhibit, and we do not have information as of this evening about whether or how it was put up or taken down,” Bird added. “If any students have concerns, we encourage them to contact the Dean of Students’ Office for help.”
The incident at UT Austin was not the first time a YCT chapter has dealt with one of their pro-life flag displays being disturbed. Last October, a similar exhibit at the University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton, Texas, made headlines when video captured students openly making off with the flags in protest.
As The Daily Wire reported at the time:
Students vandalized a display intended to memorialize aborted babies on the campus of the University of North Texas (UNT) on Wednesday and also sent threatening texts to the leader of the conservative student group that put it up.
Members of the UNT chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT), a group that has existed in some form since 1980, received permission to place 1,000 small pink flags around the Denton, Texas, campus to commemorate unborn lives lost since Roe v. Wade, according to The Spectator USA. Each flag represented approximately 60,000 babies.
The chapter’s president, Kelly Neidert, told The Spectator that the flags were accompanied with various signs that said “abortion is murder,” “unborn lives matter,” and “overturn Roe v. Wade,” in part a reference to the looming battle to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
According to social media posts obtained by The Spectator, liberal students took aim at the memorial before it was even in place, mocking it and making a “capture the flag” game out of ripping down the exhibit erected by those whom they deemed “sexist, transphobic, all around horrid.” According to video captured by YCT, several students plucked the signs and removed the flags, including one girl carrying a soda.
Watch this video of a liberal vandal scream profanities as he’s confronted about stealing 180 flags from an abortion memorial. pic.twitter.com/zRsm2iI3zg
— YCT UNT (@YctUnt) October 1, 2020
Related: ‘A Horrible Thing’: Conservative Student Group’s Abortion Memorial Vandalized, Leader Threatened