Mark Esper banned raising the Confederate flag at DOD facilities

The Pentagon published a memorandum, which strictly determines what flags can be demonstrated by the Ministry of Defense, their list did not include the Confederate flag, The Hill reported on Friday.

“Today, I issued a memorandum to the armed forces on the flags at Defense Department facilities. With this policy change, we will continue to improve morale, cohesion and readiness of our forces to defend our great nation,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said after the publication of the document.

The memorandum does not include the Confederation flag on the list of flags allowed to be used.

At the same time, the state symbols that the U.S. Department of Defense can display include the flags of the U.S. states and territories, as well as the flags of the District of Columbia, flags of the Armed Forces, civilian flags, flags of organizations to which the United States (such as NATO) is a member.

“We must always focus on what unites us, on our constitutional oath and on our common duty to protect the nation,” Esper wrote in the note accompanying the memorandum.

“The flags we see must be consistent with military orders of good order and discipline, treat all our people with dignity and respect, and reject divisive symbols,” he added.

The new rules apply to displaying flags in public places throughout the Pentagon, including office buildings, navy ships, aircraft, a common area of barracks, and educational facilities.

The debate about banning the use of Confederate symbols in the U.S. has taken on a new dimension amid a wave of protests after the death of African-American George Floyd, a policeman in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Currently, 10 U.S. military facilities are named after generals and military leaders of the Confederate Army during the U.S. Civil War.