US Navy to ban Confederate battle flag from all of its bases, ships, aircraft, and submarines

AP Photo/Dave MartinProtesters in Alabama fly the confederate flag at a rally on March 4, 2000
  • US Navy Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday tweeted Tuesday afternoon that his staff is crafting an order to end the display of the Confederate flag in public and work areas on bases, ships, aircraft, and submarines.
  • The move follows a similar decision by the Marine Corps, which said last Friday that “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.”
  • As the Navy and Marine Corps move against the stars and bars, the Army says it is open to renaming military installations named after Confederate military leaders.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The US Navy is preparing to prohibit the display of the Confederate battle flag in all public and work areas on bases, ships, aircraft, and submarines, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said Tuesday afternoon.

The CNO tweeted that an order is in the works, adding that the order is intended to “ensure unit cohesion, preserve good order and discipline, and uphold the Navy’s core values of honour, courage, and commitment.”

It is unclear how the order will be implemented, if at all, with regard to private spaces like lockers and beds where sailors store possessions and often display posters or keep-sakes.

The Navy’s move follows a Marine Corps decision last Friday to ban the display of the Confederate battle flag, a banner sometimes referred to as the stars and bars and flown during the civil war by those who rose up against their country in defence of slavery.

“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 Corps said in a statement.

“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.”

Marine Corps commandant Gen. David Berger said in April that he is “mindful that many people believe that flag to be a symbol of heritage or regional pride.”

At the same time, he is also very aware “of the feelings of pain and rejection of those who inherited the cultural memory and present effects of the scourge of slavery in our country.”

The Navy’s decision also comes as Army leadership, breaking away from its previous position, says that it is open to discussing renaming military bases bearing the names of Confederate military leaders, such as Fort Pickett in Virginia, among others.

The military’s moves follow weeks of nationwide unrest and protests in response to the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. His death has sparked calls across the country for an end to police brutality and racial injustice.

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