House panel votes to ban Confederate flag at Pentagon property

House panel votes to ban Confederate flag at Pentagon property
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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 Democrats back slower timeline for changing Confederate base names OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Esper reportedly working with lawmakers to strip Confederate names from bases | Enemy attacks in Afghanistan jump by 50 percent, watchdog says | Fort Hood soldier arrested, charged in Chelsea Cheatham killing Esper, amid resignation talk, reportedly working with lawmakers to strip Confederate names from bases 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 John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden 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 EsperActing Defense secretary makes surprise trip to Somalia Overnight Defense: Trump loyalist to lead Pentagon transition | Democrats ask VA for vaccine distribution plan | Biden to get classified intel reports Ex-Nunes aide linked to Biden conspiracy theories will lead Pentagon transition 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 WarrenThomas Piketty says pandemic is opportunity to address income inequality The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Disney laying off 32,000 workers as coronavirus batters theme parks MORE (D-Mass.), was approved last month in a voice vote by the Senate Armed Services Committee.