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Pentagon Puts Virtual Ban On Confederate Flag

While The Pentagon did not directly name the flag, a new policy was issued only permitting installations to fly approved US flags, Confederate was off the list.


Perhaps the original battlegrounds of the Culture Wars were the sites of Confederate monuments in parts of the country. 

The Confederate Flag itself is been a central issue that both sides have fought over. 

Recently, there have been calls on The Pentagon to address the names of bases named after Confederate soldiers. 

While that issue has not moved forward, The Pentagon today effectively banned the flag from being flown at its military installations.

From Politico:

The Pentagon on Friday unveiled a new policy that effectively bans the display of the Confederate flag — without actually naming it.

The policy, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO ahead of the official rollout, reflects an effort to find a compromise on the divisive issue, as Defense Secretary Mark Esper strives to satisfy military leaders without irking President Donald Trump, who has criticized NASCAR for banning the flag.

A draft version of the policy reportedly explicitly banned the Confederate flag on Defense Department property. Yet the official language simply lists the types of flags that are allowed to be displayed, including the American flag; the flags of the U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia; military flags and those of allies.

“The flags we fly must accord with the military imperatives of good order and discipline, treating all our people with dignity and respect, and rejecting divisive symbols,” Esper wrote in the memo. The guidance applies to the public displays of flags by service members or DoD civilians “in all DoD work places, common access areas, and public areas.”

Exceptions to the ban include museum exhibits, license plates, grave sites, and works of art “where the nature of the display or depiction cannot reasonably be viewed as endorsement of the flag by the Department of Defense.”

Trump has made no secret of his opposition to banning the Confederate flag outright, criticizing NASCAR for doing so and saying he views flying the flag as “freedom of speech.” Trump has also proclaimed his opposition to other efforts by the military to address racism and diversity, including removing the names of Confederates from 10 Army bases.”

And more from our friends at Fox News touches on Acting Defense Secretary, Mark Esper's, position that the flag being flown at military bases create undo strain on the military's mission of unity amongst the troops:

Esper's memo says that the display of unauthorized flags — such as the Confederate banner carried during the Civil War — is acceptable in museums, historical exhibits, works of art or other educational programs.

The Marine Corps has already banned the Confederate flag. Gen. David Berger, the commandant of the Marine Corps, directed his commanders in early June to remove public displays of the Confederate battle flag. That flag, which some embrace as a symbol of heritage, “carries the power to inflame feelings of division” and can weaken the unit cohesion that combat requires, Berger said.

The other three military services were all moving to enact similar bans, but they paused when Esper made it known he wanted a consistent policy across the whole department."

While many point to heritage when defending the presence of the flag, it has increasingly amounted to social and political tension in the post-George Floyd era in American social life. 

For many others, including the President, it is simply a matter of free speech, wherein the government should not play a role in censoring non-violent symbols that same may find offensive. 


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