The Bay Area has always been a bastion of progressive values. But since the election of President Trump, the dominant ideological orientation in a region that's notoriously prone to groupthink has shifted from questioning conservative values to deliberate anti-Americanism.

Examples of this trend abound: From the assault of a man carrying an American flag (in an ironic twist, the victim of the vicious beating happened to be a Bernie Sanders supporter) to the internal backlash at Google over the company's work with the federal government, including the Department of Defense.

One bizarre incident reported Tuesday by the Stamford Review stands out not just because it happened at Stanford, an elite American University, but also because it was seemingly unprovoked. The paper published a column retelling how a campus administrator had recommended that a fraternity called Sigma Chi (a fraternity that was disbanded following a probationary period last year) remove an American flag flying outside the house. The administrator - identified only as "Mr. Z" - suggested that flying the star-spangled banner could be interpreted as aggressive or jingoistic by some members of the community, and that, if Sigma Chi wanted to ingratiate itself with its neighbors (and presumably the administration) it should consider un-hoisting the flag to help "improve its image" in the community.

This context of a friendly relationship with Mr. Z made the following incident all the more surprising. One night during Autumn 2017, Lozano recounted, Mr. Z was invited to eat dinner at Sigma Chi. While discussing improving the fraternityís image with the university, Mr. Z offhandedly suggested that Sigma Chi remove the potentially discomforting symbol outside: the American flag flown in front of the house. Mr. Z urged Sigma Chi to consider the image being presented to the rest of campus by flying the flag out front. He furthered that if Sigma Chi wished to break away from stereotypes that plagued the house and to change its perception on campus, its members should contemplate un-hoisting the American flag.

While this remark was just one in a larger discussion on rebranding the house, it stands out. Mr. Zís recommendation insinuated not only that the flag made others uncomfortable but that its being flown tainted Sigma Chiís reputation and, presumably, worsened its chance of survival. Lozano understood Mr. Z to imply that the American flag, as a symbol, could be intimidating, aggressive or alienating. Mr. Zís tone further signaled to Lozano that he found the mere sight of the American flag to be offensive.

The students who spoke with the Review recalled that they were initially confused by Mr. Z's remark, because they didn't understand how anybody could interpret hanging an American flag on American soil as an offensive act. The members of the fraternity surveyed the surrounding area and found several buildings - including several owned by the university - where American flags had been hanging. Still reeling from the suggestion, the fraternity decided to double down: Instead of removing the flag, they bought an even larger flag