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.