UPDATE: Altered American flag taken down from University of Kans - KCTV5 News

UPDATE: Altered American flag taken down from University of Kansas flagpole

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(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

UPDATE: The University of Kansas has taken down a darkened American flag that was hanging on campus. 

The flag drew criticism from elected officials across Kansas, most notably Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. 

ORIGINAL STORY:

A Kansas congressional candidate says a public art project involving an altered U.S. flag at the University of Kansas is disrespectful to the military.

Steve Watkins, a combat veteran and Republican candidate for Kansas' 2nd Congressional District, says it hurts him to see the altered flag at the university.

The piece, called Untitled (Flag 2), is the last of a series of flag pieces that have flown on the Lawrence campus in the last several months as part of a national art project. 

Kansas is one of 11 institutions at 14 locations participating in "Pledges of Allegiance" project, which organizers say is designed to address social issues and inspire community among cultural institutions.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports the flag includes two black shapes that the artist, Josephine Meckseper, says represents a deeply polarized country.

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer called for the removal of the flag flying on the campus. 

“The disrespectful display of a desecrated American flag on the KU campus is absolutely unacceptable," he said in a statement. "Men and women have fought and bled for that flag and to use it in this manner is beyond disrespectful. I have communicated with KU Chancellor Doug Girod and Board of Regents President Blake Flanders to express my disappointment that a taxpayer funded institution would allow such a display of our sacred flag, and I demand that it be taken down immediately.”

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach also called on KU to remove it. 

"It's outrageous that you would see a public university displaying a desecrated flag," he said in a tweet. "The fact that they call it art does not make it any less of a desecration of our flag. I call upon the university to take down that flag right away."

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