Pentagon Bypasses ‘Lame Duck’ Trump To Ban Confederate Flags

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In his latest attempts to try and rekindle that old, racist magic of 2016, Donald Trump has fiercely defended Confederate statues, military bases named after men who fought to preserve the right to own their fellow human beings, and the flying of the Confederate flag. At a time of great social division, the president can be counted on to take the exact wrong position.

The Pentagon is banning the flying of Confederate flags on U.S. military bases whether or not Trump will agree to renaming them. Out of fear of backlash by Trump, a memo was sent out showing the plan the Pentagon had to avoid triggering the president.

The Associated Press reports that:

‘in a carefully worded policy that doesn’t mention the word ban or that specific flag. The policy, laid out in a memo obtained by The Associated Press, was described by officials as a creative way to bar the flag’s display without openly contradicting or angering President Donald Trump, who has defended people’s rights to display it.’

Instead of banning the Confederate flag outright, the Pentagon listed the specific flags that can be flown on military bases, which include the American flag, state flags, and the POW/MIA flags, among others. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a statement regarding the Pentagon’s decision.

‘We must always remain focused on what unifies us, our sworn oath to the Constitution and our shared duty to defend the nation. 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.’

Trump has tried to turn flying the Confederate flags at sporting events and federal properties into a free speech issue, although no one in government or law enforcement is forcing people to give up their Confederate flags. Businesses have the right to run their business the best way they see fit to support black Americans and eschew those who hold racist beliefs. It’s just too bad the president doesn’t see the value in doing the same with federal agencies and the military.

‘According to a Defense Department official familiar with the matter, the decision not to name a specific prohibited flag was to ensure the policy would be apolitical and could withstand potential legal challenges based on free speech. The official said the White House is aware of the new policy.

‘Trump has flatly rejected any notion of changing base names, and has defended the flying of the Confederate flag, saying it’s a freedom of speech issue.’

Featured image screenshot via YouTube