Without specifically mentioning it, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper issued a new Defense Department policy on Friday that will act as a de facto ban on the display of the Confederate Battle flag from all military installations.

The new policy guidance comes on the heels of a frequently contentious debate about the display of the Confederate battle flag and whether military bases named after Confederate States of America officers should be renamed. President Donald Trump has already said that he’d veto any such name change if the Pentagon’s budget contains any language for base renaming.

The Pentagon released a statement earlier on Friday that stated that Esper presented the guidance Friday morning to senior leaders and commanders and noted that flags are powerful symbols, in the military and must embody a common mission, common histories, and the special, timeless bonds of warriors.

General David Berger, the Commandant of the Marine Corps has already issued a ban on the display of the Confederate battle flag at all Marine bases worldwide. 

“I have determined it is time to act to exclude from our Corps public displays of the battle flag carried by the Confederate Army during the American Civil War,” Berger wrote, in a letter to the troops. “This symbol has shown it has the power to inflame feelings of division. I cannot have that division inside our Corps.”

“The Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mike Gilday, has directed his staff to begin crafting an order,” said Cmdr. Nate Christensen, Gilday’s spokesman, “that would prohibit the Confederate battle flag from all public spaces and work areas aboard Navy installations, ships, aircraft, and submarines.”

Esper carefully worded the guidance not to draw the ire of the president who has already spoken out about the decision by NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at all races and events. 

The Secretary laid out a detailed two-page memo that lists the various flags that are now authorized to be displayed on U.S. military property and that will “promote unity and esprit de corps.”