Marine general orders removal of confederate flags from bases because ‘hate symbols’ make it harder to win in combat – The Sun
MARINE Corps will no longer be able to fly the Confederate Flag after the force's commander explained it would be banned in a step to combat hate speech.
The ban on the flag, often used by right-wing nationalists, is an effort to limit "offensive or divisive displays".
"It is time to act to exclude from our Corps public displays of the battle flag carried by the Confederate Army during the American Civil War," said David Berger, general of the US Marine Corps, in a statement released on Thursday.
"I am mindful that many people believe the flag to be a symbol of heritage or regional pride.
"But I am also mindful of the feelings of pain and rejection of those who inherited the cultural memory and present effects of the scourge of slavery in our country."
He added: "This symbol has shown it has the power to inflame feelings of division.
"I cannot have that division inside our Corps."
Reports had been circulating since February that Bergen had ordered the removal of Confederate-related paraphernalia from all Marine bases, however there was no date for this to take effect, nor any further information from Bergen on the reasons behind his decision.
But on Thursday, Bergen, who is the highest-ranking officer in the Marine Corps, made his first public statement regarding the flag, which he posted on Twitter.
His announcement appeared to be well received.
"Kudos sir," Leif Carlson wrote. "The USMC is an incredible institution. There should be no place for hoisting the flags of our enemies while wearing the uniform."
However, when Bergen's first internal memo circulated in February, not everyone was as encouraging.
"Sorry to hear that," one Twitter user wrote. "USMC seems to have taken the path of least resistance. Too bad."
Another simply added: "Sad."
The Confederate flag is a relic from the 19th century, and represented the now defunct Confederate States of America, which was made up of 11 Southern states that broke off from the United States in 1860.
The Confederacy was defeated in the American Civil War of 1865, which primarily was fought by the Confederates to protect their right to own slaves.
A number of American military bases are named after Confederate generals, including Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Hood in Texas.
The flag was flown during the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville in 2017, and it was used by Dylan Roof, who killed nine members of a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, on his website.
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