US Marine Corps issues details on ban of Confederate battle flags

iStock/mariusz_prusaczykBy: ELLA TORRES, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Marine Corps has issued details on its ban of public depictions of the Confederate battle flag on Marine installations.

The depictions that are banned include clothing, a flag, poster, bumper stickers and mugs.

"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," a statement from the Marine Corps on Friday read. "Our history as a nation, and events like the violence in Charlottesville in 2017, highlight the divisiveness the use of the Confederate battle flag has had on our society."

The ban was first announced in February 2020 after Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger ordered all Confederate-related paraphernalia to be removed from Marine Corps installations, according to Task & Purpose. However, it was not clear exactly what the paraphernalia was and the statement issued Friday is the first detailing of that.

Marine Corps commanders will identify and remove the display of the flag or its depictions within work spaces, common-access areas and public areas on Marine installations, according to a Marine administrative message. Work spaces and common-access areas include office buildings, facilities, naval vessels, aircraft, government vehicles, cubicles, break rooms and more.

The ban does not apply to works of art, education materials or historical displays of the Civil War where the flag is present, but not the main focus of the work. State flags that include the Confederate battle flag, like Mississippi, are also not included in the ban.

Commanders are authorized to conduct inspections of installations to see if there is any depiction of the flag, according to a Marine administrative message.

The ban was enacted "to support our core values, ensure unit cohesion and security, and preserve good order and discipline."

The details on the ban come amidst nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism in the United States. Protesters have at times damaged numerous symbols of the Confederacy, which are seen by many as a symbol of racism and oppression. Some states, such as Virginia and Indiana, have taken steps to remove those symbols.

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