BOSTON (Reuters) - A Massachusetts college that became a target of protests after removing the American flag from its main flagpole following Donald Trump's election victory raised the flag again on Friday, its president said.

 

Students at Hampshire College had lowered the main campus flag on Nov. 9, the day after the Republican businessman won the presidential election. The following day protesters burned a flag on campus, and after flying another flag at half-mast for several days, the school on Nov. 18 removed it entirely, triggering protests by veterans groups.

 

Following meetings with local veterans, college President Jonathan Lash said the flag would be flown again on the main flagpole at the campus in Amherst, Massachusetts, about 90 miles (145 km) west of Boston.

 

"We understand that many who hold the flag as a powerful symbol of national ideals and their highest aspirations for the country, including members of our own community, felt hurt by our decisions, and that we deeply regret," Lash said in a statement. "We acted solely to facilitate much-needed dialogue on our campus about how to dismantle the bigotry that is prevalent in our society."

 

Student protesters had voiced anger over some of Trump's campaign promises, including plans to deport illegal immigrants and restrict immigration from Muslim countries.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1989 that flag-burning was not a crime but a form of protest protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Trump said on Twitter on Tuesday he believed that people who burned the flag should be jailed for a year or have their citizenship revoked, penalties that would violate the Constitution.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)