The Pentagon just banned Confederate and Pride flags from flying at military bases
Concerns are being raised about a new policy on “divisive symbols” that bans the Confederate flag – but also the rainbow LGBT+ Pride flag – from being flown at US military bases.
The new guidance on flags at US military bases has been welcomed for managing to skirt around Donald Trump’s objections to banning Confederate imagery, which he says is part of US “heritage”.
The Confederacy was the group of southern US states that fought to keep slavery during the US civil war.
But Trump has defended the Confederate flag on the basis of “free speech”, making the new guidance politically sensitive.
The guidance excludes all flags other than the US flag, state flags and some listed from being flown at US military bases.
But the Washington Blade confirmed Friday (July 17) that this includes the LGBT+ Pride flag.
“The memorandum does not authorise public display of unlisted flags in the Department of Defense,” Pentagon spokesperson Lisa Lawrence said in a statement.
The spokesperson confirmed that it is “correct” that the guidance also means the rainbow Pride flag is prohibited.
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LGBTQ groups pointing out that Pentagon also banned Pride flag on military bases today along with Confederate flag
— Erik Wasson (@elwasson) July 17, 2020
The Pentagon’s new guidance reportedly comes after weeks of careful wrangling and doesn’t contain the word “ban” or mention a specific flag – in a bid to circumvent Trump’s objections and prevent the White House opposing the guidance on the basis of “free speech”.
It was signed by Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Thursday night and released via memo on Friday.
“We must always remain focused on what unifies us, our sworn oath to the Constitution and our shared duty to defend the nation,” Esper’s memo states.
“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.”