“The flags we fly must accord with the military imperatives of good order and discipline, treating all our people with dignity and respect, and rejecting divisive symbols,” Esper wrote in a Department of Defense memo released Friday.
“Military installations are allowed to fly the American flag; the flags of the U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia; military flags and those of allies,” writes the Washington Blade. “However, by not enumerating them, the memo effectively bans Confederate flags and LGBTQ Pride flags.”
Banning rainbow flags seems particularly notable seeing as the Pentagon has held an annual Pride event in June each year since 2011, when the military’s ban on gay people (“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”) was repealed. The new memo basically says that rainbow flags can’t be displayed at such events in the future.
Today I issued a memorandum to the force on the display of flags at @DeptofDefense facilities. With this change in policy, we will further improve the morale, cohesion, and readiness of the force in defense of our great Nation. pic.twitter.com/YQPc3kxf4V
— Dr. Mark T. Esper (@EsperDoD) July 17, 2020
According to the memo, the ban applies to “public displays or depictions of flags by service members and civilian employees in all Department of Defense workplaces, common access areas, and public areas.” This includes stickers.
Jennifer Dane, interim executive director for the Modern Military Association of America, told the Washington Blade,
“It’s absolutely outrageous that Defense Secretary Mark Esper would ban the Pride flag — the very symbol of inclusion and diversity. In what universe is it OK to turn an opportunity to ban a racist symbol like the Confederate flag into an opportunity to ban the symbol of diversity?” Dane said. “This decision sends an alarming message to LGBTQ service members, their families and future recruits.”
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GOP presidential challenger Mark Sanford, a former U.S. Congressman and former governor, has just dropped out of the race to win the Republican presidential nomination.
“You gotta be a realist, and what I did not anticipate is an impeachment,” Sanford said, according to The Post and Courier.
But impeachment had been all but certain when Sanford officially announced his candidacy just two months ago.
Axios reports Sanford “was always a long shot to unseat the president.”
President Donald Trump still has two Republican opponents, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, and former U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh.
Sanford’s timing, less than 24 hours before the House impeachment inquiry’s public witness testimony is slated to begin, is curious.
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.
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