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U.S. Marine Corps to remove public displays of the Confederate battle flag

The United States Marine Corps on Friday said it would remove public displays of the Confederate battle flag in installations within the entire force.
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. (Image from KFMB)

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — The United States Marine Corps on Friday said it would remove public displays of the Confederate battle flag in installations within the entire force.

According to a Marine Administrative Message (MARADMIN), Marine Corps commanders will have to identify and remove the display of the Confederate battle flag or its depiction within workplaces, common-access areas, and public areas on their installations.

Commanders will be expected to apply their best judgement considering it would be “impossible to specify every possible exception” to the directive.

The directive will apply to public-facing displays, and not what's in a Corpsman's personal possessions.

A statement from the Marine Corps said in part:

"The Confederate battle flag has all too often been co-opted by violent extremist and racists groups whose divisive beliefs have no place in our Corps. 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 in our society. [...] The Marine Corps shall remove the confederate battle flag from all installation public spaces and work areas in order to support our core values, ensure unit cohesion and security, and preserve good order and discipline."

The force defined the Confederate battle flag as the battle flag carried by Confederate armies during the Civil War.

Exceptions to the MARADMIN include works of art, educational or historical displays depicting a Civil War battle where the Confederate battle flag is present, but not the main focus of the work.

The directive will not apply to the National Museum of the Marine Corps (NMMC), or the Museums at MCRD San Diego, MCRD Parris Island or on any other installations which address the Civil War from a neutral, historical or educational perspective, and are the appropriate venues for such symbols.

Read the full MARADMIN here.