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ASU 101: Evil Ohio State flag invades ASU armory

 by Tim Agne
 published on Friday, February 27, 2004

An Ohio State flag flies over the National Guard Armory Building north of campus on Thursday afternoon.  The flag may have been placed there after the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2, 2004./issues/opinions/620658
An Ohio State flag flies over the National Guard Armory Building north of campus on Thursday afternoon. The flag may have been placed there after the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2, 2004.


Welcome to ASU 101, the only class where you can leave your cell phone on without bothering anybody. At this point, I usually ramble on about how this question-and-answer thing works, but since you've probably figured it out by now, I'll get right down to business.

Thursday was a rough day for the ASU 101 TA, rougher than a normal Thursday, I can tell you that. In typical slacker fashion, I had been putting off answering a really good question I received from a genuinely concerned student. I mostly put it off because it was hard.

But eventually the weight of this question became overwhelming. It ate away at my brain until I had to get up and investigate, which is difficult to do with a half-eaten brain. And before I go any further with this, here's the question:

Q: At the National Guard Armory Building, on the corner of College and Stadium Drive, there is an evil Ohio State flag flapping in the breeze. Yes. Someone from Ohio State (perhaps from the Fiesta Bowl) put an OSU flag on the flagpole, locked it down and it has been there since. I'm not able to get it down, because it has a padlock on it, and being the law-abiding citizen that I am, cannot take it down.

Any suggestions, other than calling a fraternity and offering a case or dinner to the person who brings me the flag?

Ah, Ohio State. The Buckeyes will go down in Tempe history as back-to-back Fiesta Bowl champions. Yeah, Tempe has effectively become the home away from home for Ohio State fans to get wasted until 1 a.m. on New Year's. You have to appreciate the millions of dollars they have brought to Tempe's struggling tourism economy, helping our little town through the tough times.

On that note, screw Ohio State. Who do they think they are, coming in here like they own the place? I guarantee you that we can out-party those suckers. And I'd take Andrew Walter over Craig Krenzel any day of the week.

Listen up, class. The Big Ten thinks it's better than the Pac-10, and this grievous offense is a shining example. They're back in the Midwest right now, talking their trash about how our ridiculous school probably hasn't even taken down their evil flapping flag.

And they're right. I found all this out Thursday after a power lunch at Dos Gringos. After about five Coronas, I was ready to go make a name for myself as an investigative journalist. Had I known what I was in for, I would have made it six.

My roommate and I ambled over to the National Guard armory. Instead of armaments or National Guardsmen (or is it Guardspeople? I never know), we found two attendants selling parking for $5. Avoiding the attendants, we tried all the doors on the building. Locked.

The flagpole was in front of the building, not protected by a fence. The pulley mechanism that lowers the flag was inside a metal box that was locked with a pink combination lock. Pink didn't seem like the National Guard's style to me, so I began to suspect that the flag was unofficial.

So we talked to the two old men, and they told us to go ahead and take it down. We started toward the flag, and one of the attendants reneged, saying he'd "have to call the colonel." Overwhelmed with drunken journalistic enthusiasm, I asked him for the colonel's number so I could get to the bottom of this.

I had called his bluff. He didn't have any colonel's number. But he assured me that the big red flag with the silver 'O' had some significance to the National Guard unit and nothing to do with Ohio State.

I was willing to accept that this was a big misunderstanding, but for the sake of this lecture, I needed to know the significance of the flag. So I called in the National Guard.

Actually, I just called the National Guard. Although I couldn't get an official statement, here's what I learned:

The armory at ASU is currently vacant because it is being either remodeled or sold. If the National Guard was going to raise a flag, it would be an American flag or an Arizona flag (although I wouldn't mind seeing an ASU one). And since there's no unit in the armory, pretty much anybody could put up whatever flag they want.

One officer I spoke to said he would pass the complaint on to their facilities people, but I know you can trust facilities people about as much as you can trust parking attendants. That's why I recommend that one or two drunken ASU students do their part to help this great nation and steal that flag sometime this weekend. God bless America. Class dismissed.

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