Just a day after President Trump took to twitter to suggest that NASCAR’s banning of the Confederate flag was a mistake, the Pentagon has made a bold statement about the symbol.
NASCAR, whose popularity in the deep south has brought with it any number of Confederate flag-sporting spectators, recently made the decision that the symbol of the 1860’s rebellion would no longer be allowed in any capacity on their properties. No shirts, no hats, no belt buckles, and certainly no flags themselves. President Trump on Monday insinuated that this decision may have played a role in the recent ratings slump that the sport has seen on television.
On Tuesday it was announced that the Pentagon was preparing to travel down a similar path.
A draft policy circulated by Pentagon leaders would ban the display of the Confederate flag in Defense Department workplaces or public areas by service members and civilian personnel.
The draft policy, which has not been finalized or signed by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, was making the rounds as President Donald Trump on Monday criticized NASCAR’s decision to ban the flag at its races and venues. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the draft.
If approved, the draft Pentagon policy would bring the other military services in line with the Marine Corps, which banned Confederate displays on its bases in early June. Other military services had been poised to make similar decisions, but they were stalled when Esper said he wanted a review of the matter that would come up with a consistent department policy.
As of this writing, there is no indication that the White House has plans to formally oppose the policy.
Officials within the Pentagon have stated their belief that the Confederate battle flag sends a divisive message, and, as such, runs contrary to the mission of America’s armed forces.
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