Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, the highest-ranking official at the University of Missouri, became pathetically unglued this week and threatened to hunt down students and alumni over a photograph from 2012 of some people holding a Confederate flag.
He suggested that students could feel physically threatened by the three-year-old photo’s appearance on Twitter.
The three-year old image which caused Loftin to lose his composure appeared on Twitter on July 12 at a Twitter account called Frat Scenery:
— Frat Scenery (@FratScenery) July 13, 2015
The image shows five guys dressed in variations of white and red. The look to be holding three flags: an American flag, a Confederate Navy Jack flag and a Georgia Bulldogs flag.
The date of the photograph is likely on or about Sept. 8, 2012. On that day, the Georgia Bulldogs football team visited Columbia and whipped Mizzou, 41-20. (The University of Georgia’s colors are red, white and black.)
The building in the background is the Phi Kappa Theta house in Columbia, just steps off the Mizzou campus.
On Monday, Loftin, who receives a taxpayer-funded annual salary of $450,000, released a strongly-worded proclamation concerning the 1,040-day-old image.
“Statement Regarding Flag,” the message begins — in comically large font.
“Today, University of Missouri officials became aware of a photo taken in 2012 at a Greek house located near the MU campus in which individuals displayed a Confederate flag,” Loftin then gravely explains. “Especially considering recent events in South Carolina concerning the Confederate flag, this photo may be considered offensive and possibly even threatening to some of our community members. We do not believe any of the individuals in the photo are past or current MU students; however, we will be working to identify those in the photo.”
“MU officials do not condone any activities that could threaten the safety of our community,” the bureaucrat concludes.
Loftin’s mention of South Carolina is a reference to the removal last week, led by Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, of the Confederate flag from the state’s capitol grounds. The removal was primarily prompted by Dylann Roof’s slaughter of nine people at a black church in Charleston, S.C.
The Maneater, the Missouri campus newspaper, reached out to representatives from Phi Kappa Theta, the University of Georgia and the administration at the University of Missouri. No one cared to comment.
As The College Fix notes, Loftin’s promise to use state resources to investigate people who appeared in this photo from three years ago for threatening behavior is at best weirdly uncomfortable and at worst an ex post facto policy change by a state official vested with police powers.
Frat Scenery, the Twitter account which published the photo, provides “images of fraternity & sorority houses around the country.” People living and reliving their halcyon frat days submit the imagery.
The account owner is Eastern Kentucky University graduate (and Sigma Chi member) Leo Blake Carter. The account has called the date of publication “bad timing,” notes The Maneater.