There are a scary number of white supremacists in the military. These are people who love the Confederate flag and everything the Confederacy stood for. Treason in defense of slavery might be old hat, but treason in defense of being able to lynch black men with impunity, well, that’s just freedom of speech!
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger has ordered all Confederate-related paraphernalia to be removed from Marine Corps installations, his spokesman confirmed on Wednesday.
A document showing the commandant’s decision appeared online on Wednesday, though it did not say when all of the Confederate-related paraphernalia needed to be removed by.
Berger’s spokesman confirmed to Task & Purpose that the commandant had sent a directive to his senior staff ordering all installations to get rid of symbols of the Confederate States of America.
“Last week, the Commandant of the Marine Corps directed specific tasks be reviewed or addressed by Headquarters Marine Corps staff,” Maj. Eric Flanagan said in an email. “Many of the tasks were published on Twitter Friday. Other tasks not published previously are mostly administrative matters.”
“Any official policy decisions, changes or implementation plans will be published via appropriate orders and messages,” he continued.
The question of whether Confederate symbols represent heritage or hatred has been vexing for the U.S. military. In January 2016, the Marine Corps refused to allow a man with a large tattoo of a Confederate flag to enlist, yet 10 Army bases are still named for Confederate generals.
Meanwhile, several Marines have been investigated in the past few years for allegedly having links to white supremacist groups, including former Pvt. Vasillios Pistolis, who was kicked out of the Corps after beating counter-protesters at the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va.
I imagine Herr Miller is furious and this will be overturned. But the Confederate flag is just as toxic and murderous as the Nazi flag and they should absolutely be considered the same thing.
In conclusion, I wonder how Confederate flags continue to end up under my muddy boots?