America’s Navy will join the Marines in removing displays of the Confederate battle flag from the Civil War.
Adm. Mike Gilday, chief of naval operations told his staff Tuesday to send out an order to remove any and all displays of the flag from ships, aircraft, submarines and installations.
Last week, Gen. David Berger, commandant of the Marine Corps, ordered removal of the flag from Marine bases, vehicles and aircraft.
In addition, the Corps issued a statement:
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. Our history as a nation, and events like the violence in Charlottesville in 2017, highlight the divisiveness the use of the Confederate battle flag has had on our society.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Army Secretary say they are “open to a bipartisan discussion.” say their spokesmen.
While the Army and Air Force has not issued similar bands, but defense department officials say such changes are being discussed, along with changing the names of bases and installations with ties to the Confederacy, including Fort Bragg in North Carolina, named for a Confederate Braxton Bragg, considered a brave general with mediocre leadership skills. His forces went down in the Battle of Chattanooga in 1863.
Besides Bragg, the Army has nine other installations named for Confederates, including Fort Benning, named for Gen. Henry I. Benning, leader of Georgia’s secessionist movement, another names for Robert E. Lee and others in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana.
Retired Army colonel and Iraq War veteran Peter Mansoor, says renaming such bases if long overdue.
In an email, Mansoor said:
Most serving soldiers know little about the history behind the Confederate leaders for whom these bases are named, or the political deals that caused them to be honored in this fashion. There might be some pushback from a small segment of soldiers from the South, but this is what we like to call a “teachable moment.” Now is the time to finally bring about a change that will speak volumes as to what the U.S. Army stands for.
Retired four-star Army General David Petraeus, agrees, writing in The Atlantic Tuesday:
The irony of training at bases named for those who took up arms against the United States, and for the right to enslave others, is inescapable to anyone paying attention. Now, belatedly, is the moment for us to pay such attention.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a former Army helicopter pilot, writes:
Honoring the ‘lost cause’ of those who waged war against the United States of America, or defending the right of an individual state to allow its residents to own, sell and kill fellow Americans as property has no place in our nation, especially the U.S. armed forces which waged a deadly war to eliminate the barbaric practice of slavery,
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