In a strange repetition that suggests public posturing amid recent protests, the Marine Corps is banning displays of the Confederate battle flag on its bases … again.
In late April David Berger, commandant of the Corps, banned any display of the Confederate battle flag on Marine bases, saying members of the Corps will no longer be able to fly the flag due to the possibility of hate speech and the desire to limit “offensive or divisive displays” in the military.
The surrender on the flag issue appeared based on feelings; in fact, Berger used the word “feelings” at least twice in his official statement on the matter.
Now, in an unsigned post on Twitter, the Marine Corps is once again officially barring symbols depicting the Confederate battle flag from public spaces on Marine Corps installations.
Why the second declaration was necessary was not clear, but it was reported by none other than the Marine Times.
“The Confederate battle flag has all too often been co-opted by violent extremist and racist groups whose divisive beliefs have no place in our Corps,” the “U.S. Marines” wrote in the new, May 5 post. “This presents a threat to our core values, unit cohesion, security, and good order and discipline. This must be addressed.”
The new message instructs Marine Corps commanders across the entire service to “identify and remove” displays of the Confederate battle flag on Marine bases. This applies to bumper stickers, clothing, mugs, posters, flags and other items depicting the Confederate battle flag in public and work spaces on Marine Corps installations.
Exceptions include works of art or historical displays where the flag is depicted but is not the “main focus of the work,” state flags and license plates that include images of the Confederate flag, and Confederate soldiers’ graves.