The House Armed Services Committee has approved an amendment to ban the display of the Confederate battle flag on all Pentagon property.
The measure was approved Wednesday without debate by voice vote as part of a package of dozens of noncontroversial amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The amendment, from Rep. Anthony BrownAnthony Gregory BrownHouse panel advances 8B defense bill Democrats defeat GOP effort to declare 'lost confidence' in Biden after Afghanistan withdrawal House panel approves B boost for defense budget MORE (D-Md.), would ban the public display of the flag, including on bumper stickers and clothing, at all Defense Department property, including bases, workspaces and front porches of military housing.
“Recent, tragic events have underscored how much farther we have to go to heal the racial divisions that have plagued this country since our founding,” Brown said in a statement after the vote. “Prohibiting the display of the Confederate flag – a symbol that for so many represents white supremacy, oppression and terror – in our military is an important step in that reckoning.”
The amendment would create exceptions for museums or other educational displays about the Civil War, state flags that incorporate the Confederate emblem, state-issued license plates and grave sites of Confederate soldiers.
The Marine Corps has already banned the flag, as has U.S. Forces Korea, and the Navy has said it would follow suit. No other military service has moved to ban the flag since President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE raised objections to the Army’s plan to rename bases that are named after Confederate leaders.
The Army said last week it was deferring to Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperJan. 6 panel subpoenas four ex-Trump aides Bannon, Meadows Milley and China — what the Senate really needs to know Biden, Trump battle over who's to blame for Afghanistan MORE on a potential policy across all the services on the Confederate flag.
Debate over Confederate symbols has reignited amid nationwide protests on racial injustices sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The House Armed Services Committee is also expected to consider an amendment later Wednesday, also expected to be offered by Brown, that would require the Pentagon to strip Confederate names from bases and other property within a year.
Late Tuesday night, Trump vowed to veto the NDAA if it includes such a requirement.
The Senate’s version of the NDAA already includes a requirement to rename bases and other property within three years. The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Warren11 senators urge House to pass .5T package before infrastructure bill Senate Democrats seeking information from SPACs, questioning 'misaligned incentives' UN secretary-general blasts space tourism MORE (D-Mass.), was approved last month in a voice vote by the Senate Armed Services Committee.