[WSMDiscuss] Pentagon bans displays of the Confederate flag on military installations (Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press)
jai.sen at cacim.net
Sun Jul 19 01:17:10 CEST 2020
Saturday, July 18, 2020
Viruses in movement…, The US in movement…, Racism in movement…, Resistance in movement…, Politics in movement…
[The US is aflame, its peoples are afire…. And, or at least as it seems to an outsider, another symbol - and bastion - of white supremacy falls ! And within the US state.
[And just as in the earlier case of the Chief of Staff of the US military finding a way to contradict the president and reach out to tell – instruct - all military personnel that it was not their job to intervene in domestic politics and unrest (which Trump tried), what seems important here is again, the military establishment pushing back against Trump’s support for the Confederate flag and for those who fly it – which is no mean political position to take, in the current circumstances of struggle. And so where in the battle of ideas that is underway, and of moral authority, this pushback, and division, is also important to note, and to see developing :
In the US :
Pentagon bans displays of the Confederate flag on military installations
Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press
Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol Honor Guard members retire the state flag, which contained a Confederate emblem, in Jackson, Miss. Protestors have been calling for the removal of Confederate flags. ‘Suddenly, after 126 years of taunting and jeering at Black Mississippians and their white allies from atop flagpoles, the flag is history.’ (Rory Doyle / AFP via Getty Images)
After weeks of wrangling, the Pentagon is banning displays of the Confederate flag on military installations, in a carefully worded policy that doesn’t mention the word ban or that specific flag. The policy, laid out in a memo released Friday, was described by officials as a creative way to bar the flag’s display without openly contradicting or angering President Donald Trump, who has defended people’s rights to display it.
Signed by Defence Secretary Mark Esper on Thursday night, the memo lists the types of flags that may be displayed at military installations. The Confederate flag is not among them – thus barring its display without singling it out in a “ban.” Details of the policy were first reported by the AP.
“We must always remain focused on what unifies us, our sworn oath to the Constitution and our shared duty to defend the nation,” Mr. Esper’s memo states. “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.”
Acceptable flags listed in the memo include the U.S. and state banners, flags of other allies and partners, the widely displayed POW/MIA flag and official military unit flags.
Confederate flags, monuments and military base names have become a national flashpoint in the weeks since the death of George Floyd. Protesters decrying racism have targeted Confederate monuments in multiple cities. Some state officials are considering taking them down, but they face vehement opposition in some areas.
According to a Defence Department official familiar with the matter, the decision not to name a specific prohibited flag was to ensure the policy would be apolitical and could withstand potential legal challenges based on free speech. The official said the White House is aware of the new policy and that it takes effect immediately.
Mr. Trump has flatly rejected any notion of changing base names, and has defended the flying of the Confederate flag, saying it’s a freedom of speech issue.
According to Mr. Esper’s memo, the display of unauthorized flags – such as the Confederate banner carried during the Civil War – is acceptable in museums, historical exhibits, works of art or other educational programs.
The Marine Corps has already banned the Confederate flag. General David Berger, the commandant of the Marine Corps, directed his commanders in early June to remove public displays of the Confederate battle flag. That flag, which some embrace as a symbol of heritage, “carries the power to inflame feelings of division” and can weaken the unit cohesion that combat requires, Gen. Berger said.
Military commands in South Korea and Japan quickly followed suit. The new policy does not affect or rescind those bans.
The other three military services were all moving to enact similar bans, but they paused when Mr. Esper made it known he wanted a consistent policy across the whole department. Now they will instead issue this new policy to their troops and employees.
Defence leaders have for weeks been tied in knots over the incendiary issue of banning the Confederate flag, An early draft of the Defence Department plan banned display of the Confederate flag, saying the prohibition would preserve “the morale of our personnel, good order and discipline within the military ranks and unit cohesion.” That version was shelved, and officials have been struggling since then to come up with a policy that would have the same effect but not create political havoc.
Mr. Esper discussed the matter with senior leaders during a meeting Wednesday, including some of the legal issues surrounding a variety of bans, which some officials believe could be challenged in court.
The final version is a compromise that enables Mr. Esper to enact a ban that passes legal muster and gives military leaders what they want, but doesn’t infuriate the commander in chief.
According to the official, the new policy doesn’t undo the bans already in place, and service chiefs and secretaries will still be able to enact additional, more stringent policies restricting symbols they believe are divisive and harmful to unit cohesion. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss decisions not yet made public.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told reporters on Thursday that he is still working on a policy that would remove all divisive symbols from Army installations.
He didn’t mention the flag, but said, “we would have any divisive symbols on a no-fly list.”
Independent researcher, editor; Senior Fellow at the School of International Development and Globalisation Studies at the University of Ottawa
jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net>
Now based in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325) and in Ottawa, Canada, on unceded and unsurrendered Anishinaabe territory (+1-613-282 2900)
CURRENT / RECENT publications :
Jai Sen, ed, 2018a – The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance. Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2018b – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ? (Indian edition). New Delhi : AuthorsUpfront, in collaboration with OpenWord and PM Press. Hard copy available at MOM1AmazonIN <https://www.amazon.in/dp/9387280101/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1522884070&sr=8-2&keywords=movements+of+movements+jai+sen>, MOM1Flipkart <https://www.flipkart.com/the-movements-of-movements/p/itmf3zg7h79ecpgj?pid=9789387280106&lid=LSTBOK9789387280106NBA1CH&marketplace=FLIPKART&srno=s_1_1&otracker=search&fm=SEARCH&iid=ff35b702-e6a8-4423-b014-16c84f6f0092.9789387280106.SEARCH&ppt=Search%20Page>, and MOM1AUpFront <http://www.authorsupfront.com/movements.htm>
Jai Sen, ed, 2017 – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?. New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press. Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>
SUBSCRIBE TO World Social Movement Discuss, an open, unmoderated, and self-organising forum on social and political movement at any level (local, national, regional, and global). To subscribe, simply send an empty email to wsm-discuss-subscribe at lists.openspaceforum.net <mailto:wsm-discuss-subscribe at lists.openspaceforum.net>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the WSM-Discuss