WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after Secretary of Defense Mark Esper distributed guidance to the Department of Defense regarding the display of flags, effectively banning the public display of the Confederate flag across the Department.
“Secretary Esper’s decision to effectively ban the public display of the Confederate flag – a divisive symbol of hate and oppression – is a good first step in the right direction as our government and our military grapple with our shared history of racism.
“By issuing specific guidance to the entire Department of Defense, Secretary Esper clearly codified which flags are permissible for public display across the Department. This guidance does not call out the Confederate flag explicitly. Instead, by omitting the Confederate flag from the list of approved flags, the guidance makes clear that there is no place for that symbol in public DOD settings, which is an important change in policy that I strongly support.”