The head of the Pentagon to Mark Esper has banned on Friday the flag of the confederates on all u.s. military bases, where this banner is often perceived as a symbol of racism is frequently deployed in les chambrées or the common rooms.
In a message to all the leaders of the american army, the minister of Defence has drawn up a list of flags that are allowed on the bases, at the edges of the ships of war, in the offices or conference rooms, and including in all spaces rented by the ministry of Defence to the outside of the bases.
The flag of the confederates, a blue cross on a red background, adorned with 13 white stars, symbolizing the States in the South opposed to the abolition of slavery, having rebelled against the North during the american Civil war (1861-1865), is not on the list of flags allowed.
“The flags that we float must meet the requirements of military order and discipline, treating all with respect and dignity, and rejection of the symbols of division,” says Mr. Esper in this memo posted on Twitter.
Since the death in late may of George Floyd, a black man killed during his arrest by a white policeman, the u.s. military, which is one of the institutions where minorities are the most represented in the United States, has opened up a big internal debate on racism.
However, the military, who are fond of symbols and banners, have often in their chambrées, or their neighborhoods, military flags, confederate in the name of the principle, sacrosanct in the United States, of the freedom of expression.
Some white Americans of the South have this flag as their historical legacy and regional, but for the majority of African Americans, it symbolizes racism and slavery. The followers of the Ku Klux Klan is widely appropriate.
Prohibited on the bases, Mr. Esper differs again from Donald Trump, who stood still on Tuesday, the southern flag. “I know that people like the flag of the Confederates, and they don’t think about slavery,” he said on CBS. “For me, it is a matter of freedom of expression “.
Mr. Esper and the chief of staff, u.s. general Mark Milley, was also expressed in favour of a name change of the military bases in honor of the confederate generals, an idea to which the american president is the opposite.