Under the leadership of Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the Pentagon is set to indirectly ban the display of the Confederate flag on military properties, the Associated Press reported. A memo signed by Sec. Esper lists acceptable flags allowed to be flown at military installations, which does not include the Confederate flag as acceptable, while not outright banning the controversial flag. President Trump has opposed the ban of the flag on the basis of freedom of speech.
Sec. Esper’s memo details acceptable flags including the POW/MIA, U.S. and individual state flags and the flags of our allies.
"Flags are powerful symbols, particularly in the military community for whom flags embody common mission, common histories, and the special, timeless bond of warriors," Sec. Esper writes. “We must always remain focused on what unifies us, our sworn oath to the Constitution and our shared duty to defend the nation. I am committed to fielding the most powerful military force the world has known by by strengthening the bonds of our most valuable resource -- our people...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.”
Today I issued a memorandum to the force on the display of flags at @DeptofDefense facilities. With this change in policy, we will further improve the morale, cohesion, and readiness of the force in defense of our great Nation. pic.twitter.com/YQPc3kxf4V— Dr. Mark T. Esper (@EsperDoD) July 17, 2020
The memo allows for unauthorized flags to be displayed in museums or other educational entities.