Pentagon’s Confederate flag ban on military bases angers Trump: report
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper effectively banned Confederate flags without naming the divisive symbol earlier this month
United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper made the decision earlier this month to ban Confederate flags from being waved on military bases and President Donald Trump reportedly is not thrilled about it.
CNN reported Friday that two sources familiar with the situation indicated that the president was angry at Esper’s decree.
Esper, who has been on the job for one year, disclosed via Twitter that he issued a memo to defense and military personnel laying out new rules regarding “Public Display or Depictions of Flags in the Department of Defense.”
In the memorandum, Esper wrote: “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.”
Although the Confederate flag was not specifically mentioned, Esper’s caption in his post stated that the decision was made to “further improve the morale, cohesion, and readiness of the force in defense of our great nation.”
The president has made it clear on several occasions that he opposes any removal of Confederate relics from military bases, buildings, landmarks and institutions.
During an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News, the Trump addressed his threat to veto the National Defense Authorization Act if military bases named after Confederate officers were replaced with new names.
“I don’t care what the military says,” the president responded when Wallace said it’s what the military wanted. “I’m supposed to make the decision.”
The president also reacted to NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, who advocated for banning the Confederate flag at race tracks. Trump tweeted that the decision “has caused lowest ratings EVER” for the racing series.
Amid the protests all over the nation initiated by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery earlier this year, Confederate statues have been brought down both by local governments and some by force by demonstrators.
The president is on record saying that he disapproves, prompting him to sign an executive order to protect said statues.
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