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 BrownCongressional Black Caucus unveils '100 Day Plan' Lawmakers move to oust extremists from military Calls grow for 9/11-style panel to probe Capitol attack 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 TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout 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 EsperOvernight Defense: Capitol Police may ask National Guard to stay | Biden's Pentagon policy nominee faces criticism | Naval Academy midshipmen moved to hotels Former Trump Defense chief Esper to join McCain Institute CORRECTED: Overnight Defense: COVID-19 stymies effort to study sexual assault at military academies | Biden, Saudi king speak ahead of Khashoggi report 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 WarrenSenate rejects Sanders minimum wage hike Philly city council calls on Biden to 'cancel all student loan debt' in first 100 days Hillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case MORE (D-Mass.), was approved last month in a voice vote by the Senate Armed Services Committee.