Democratic candidate Paul Davis: KU exercised ‘poor judgment’ in flag art display

In this file photo from Oct. 28, 2014, Paul Davis addresses a rally of teachers and other supporters outside the Statehouse in Topeka.

TOPEKA – Democrat Paul Davis, of Lawrence, who is running in the 2nd District congressional race, added his name to the list of Kansas politicians who are criticizing the University of Kansas for an American flag art installment that many have called flag desecration.

“There is no question the University exercised incredibly poor judgment here,” Davis’ spokeswoman, Haley Pollock, said in an email statement to the Journal-World. “Having been taught from a young age to respect and revere our Flag and the ideals it represents, Paul opposes the desecration of our American Flag – period.”

The Davis campaign issued the statement after a Republican candidate in the 2nd District, state Sen. Caryn Tyson, of Parker, criticized him for not having spoken out sooner.

“KU has no right – no right – to display a desecrated American flag. Paul Davis’ silence on this issue is offensive and disappointing,” Tyson said in her statement.

The flag had been on display outside Spooner Hall on the KU campus until Wednesday, when officials moved it to the Spencer Museum of Art amid widespread political criticism.

The issue first came to light when another 2nd District candidate, Republican Steve Watkins, who is also a combat veteran, criticized the art project. Before Watkins’ criticism, the flag was displayed on campus for nearly a week without any sort of public outcry.

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