On Friday, the United States Marine Corps announced that all public displays of the Confederate battle flag would be removed from Marine Corps installations. This directive comes after days of civil unrest and protests swept the nation in a fight against racial injustice.
According to the directive, Marine Corps commanders must “identify and remove the display of the Confederate battle flag or its depiction within work places, common-access areas and public areas on their installations.” The directive also explains that the flags are being removed “in order to support our core values, ensure unit cohesion and security and preserve good order and discipline,” the directive explains.
Recently, several Confederate monuments have been taken down by local governments or destroyed by protesters. The Confederate flag has been a controversial symbol for decades in America with many considering the flag a racist symbol representing the war to uphold slavery, while supporters of the flag say it a sign of Southern pride and heritage.
“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 Marines said in a statement posted to Twitter.
Today, the Marine Corps released guidance on the removal of public displays of the Confederate battle flag.
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) June 6, 2020
Commandant of the Marine Corps General David H. Berger said in a statement on Wednesday, “Current events are a stark reminder that it is not enough for us to remove symbols that cause division — rather, we also must strive to eliminate division itself.”
The directive does not offer any detail or specific dates for when the flags will be removed, although it does give all responsibility and authority to unit commanders and directs them to issue lawful orders on the subject. Consequences of not following orders in the removal of the flags are unspecified.