Elections

Penn State students build wall around flag in support of Trump

Bull-Moose Party of Penn State invites fellow students to talk

Penn State supporters of Donald Trump build a freedom of speech wall around the American flag outside of Old Main on Tuesday, November 1, 2016.
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Penn State supporters of Donald Trump build a freedom of speech wall around the American flag outside of Old Main on Tuesday, November 1, 2016.

The Bull-Moose Party of Penn State wanted to make a statement one week before the 2016 election.

The small rally — about 20 supporters for Trump turned out — was planned for about six weeks.

The group, which has about 250 members, built a four-foot wooden wall around the American flag on Penn State’s Old Main lawn, propped up signs supporting Trump and invited other students to discuss the election.

The wall, Bull-Moose Party of Penn State spokesman Chris Baker said, symbolizes protecting the United States. They believe Repulican Donald Trump is the only candidate that will protect the nation.

Penn State employees Mike Miller and Jenn Grossman-Leopard asked the group to take the wall down after it had been up for about 20 minutes.

Baker declined, saying that it was protected under the First Amendment. Miller said the group could stay, but that they preferred the wall be taken down.

Though in support of their preferred candidate, party spokesman Chris Baker said there was a bigger meaning to their display.

“It’s one week until the election, and it’s the first day of November,” Baker said. “I don’t think people realize how quickly this decision is coming. It’s seven days before we choose the next president. This is kind of like a shock factor that we need to make this choice.”

“You can support him and not feel ashamed,” Baker said. “You can come up and talk to us. You can come inside and talk to us. We want people to not be afraid to support a candidate that they want to support.”

But does it go both ways?

“I want open discussion for everyone,” Baker said. “... We are a group for discussion. We want people to come up and talk to us and have cordial debate. If we wanted to be in people’s faces we would have built this on Pollock Road to be divisive.”

Shawn Annarelli: 814-235-3928, @Shawn_Annarelli

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