Report: Pentagon Drafting Plan to Ban Confederate Flag Displays

Hjalmberi Shytox of Purvis, Miss., carries a Mississippi state flag in front of the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, while participating in a rally in support of keeping the Confederate battle emblem on the state flag. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
P Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Department of Defense officials are said to be drafting a policy that would ban the display of the Confederate flag in Pentagon work environments. The report comes after President Donald Trump vowed to oppose renaming the military bases honoring Confederate figures.

The Associated Press reported:

If approved, the draft Pentagon policy would bring the other military services in line with the Marine Corps, which banned Confederate displays on its bases in early June. Other military services had been poised to make similar decisions, but they were stalled when Esper said he wanted a review of the matter that would come up with a consistent department policy.

According to officials, the draft was sent out to service leaders for their input and response last week.

According to the draft, a ban would preserve “the morale of our personnel, good order and discipline within the military ranks and unit cohesion.” It notes that a “significant” population of service members and their families are minorities and “it is beyond doubt” that many “take grave offense at such a display.”

The plan could meet opposition from President Trump, who vowed in late June to veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) if it included an amendment that would change the names of ten Army bases honoring Confederate leaders. The renaming amendment was recently approved by the Republican-controlled Senate Armed Services panel via voice vote and was written by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

The president tweeted at the time:

I will Veto the Defense Authorization Bill if the Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren (of all people!) Amendment, which will lead to the renaming (plus other bad things!) of Fort Bragg, Fort Robert E. Lee, and many other Military Bases from which we won Two World Wars, is in the Bill!

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves on Tuesday signed a bill mandating the removal of the state flag and banning future use of the Confederate emblem.

Reeves said in a speech the state would begin the process of selecting a new flag that will be emblazoned with the words “In God We Trust” after lawmakers voted to remove the Confederate emblem from the flag over the weekend.

“This is not a political moment, it is a solemn occasion to come together as a Mississipi family, reconcile and move forward together. Now, more than ever, we must lean on our faith, put our divisions behind us and unite for a greater good,” he said.

The flag, with blue, white and red stripes and the Confederate emblem in its corner, was adopted in 1894 and both the state House and Senate voted to alter the design on Sunday.

The UPI contributed to this report. 


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