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Jack Reed

07/07/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/07/2020 13:36

Reed: Confederate Flag Has No Place in U.S. Military

7/07/2020 -

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps have enacted bans on Confederate imagery and, according to public news reports, all of the U.S. military services have agreed unanimously to recommend barring the display of the Confederate flag on military bases, on ships and in any public space, including barracks.

U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), a former Army Ranger and the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, says the U.S. Department of Defense should uniformly ban all Confederate imagery across all branches of the military.

Reed is urging Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to take swift action:

'Racism has no place within the ranks of the U.S. military. Banning Confederate imagery across the military is a symbolic and long overdue step in the right direction.

'The military knows that diversity is a strength and that racism has no place in an organization that requires unity of purpose and action. I urge Secretary Esper to order the removal of all Confederate symbols immediately. Our military should focus on symbols that unite our nation.

'The Trump Administration should recognize that Americans want to combat racism, not fan it, and I urge the Secretary to put the best interests of our troops and military readiness ahead of any viewpoint that argues for the display of the Confederate flag.'

According to press reports, the military's recommendation does not apply to gravestones, tattoos, or historical artwork, such as oil paintings.

This issue is separate and apart from the bipartisan provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 that establishes a Pentagon commission to rename U.S. military bases that honor Confederate leaders within three years. Senator Reed strongly supports that provision, which President Trump has threatened to veto the entire NDAA over, if it is not removed.