Long considered a symbol of racism by critics — but viewed as a supposed symbol of “southern pride” by those who display it — the Confederate Flag and other Confederate paraphernalia will soon be removed from all Marine Corps bases, if a leader’s orders are carried out.
Commandant Gen. David Berger, the highest-ranking official in the Marines, made the order last week, following Congressional hearings on the issue of white nationalism and racism in general within the military, Slate reported.
It’s unclear what Confederate items will be removed from bases, but it can be assumed most anything with the flag of the Confederacy, which flew during the latter half of the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s, will be subjected to the ban.
The flag is considered a racist symbol by many groups and individuals. The flag’s prevalence became more mainstream as states in the south sought to preserve “states’ rights” in the middle of the 20th century — oftentimes, doing so to fight for their “rights” to enforce and keep in place racist Jim Crow laws.
The highest-ranking officer in the US Marine Corps has ordered Confederate-related paraphernalia to be removed from all Marine installations https://t.co/LUEDsO8UQq
— CNN (@CNN) February 28, 2020
A Military Times poll from 2018 found that one out of every five members of the U.S. military witnessed seeing acts or symbols of white supremacy or racism in their day-to-day routines. For service members of color, that rate jumped up significantly, to one out of every two service members.
The memorandum last week from Gen. Berger also focused on producing positive outcomes for women in the military, including an order to find a means of inserting women into more combat positions, as well as extending maternity leave. It also sought to grant maternity and paternity leave for same-sex couples.