A Symbol of Hatred or History? Obama Quietly Bans Confederate Flag at Cemeteries

Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, August 29, 2016

The Veterans Affairs Department quietly moved this month to ban flying of Confederate flags from fixed flagpoles at the cemeteries it runs, striking yet another blow against the controversial emblem.

Congress had debated and rejected that change, but the Obama administration decided to move forward anyway, saying it was unilaterally imposing the restrictions.

“In particular, we will amend our policy to make clear that Confederal flags will not be displayed from any permanently fixed flagpole in a national cemetery at any time,” wrote Ronald E. Walters, under secretary for memorial affairs at the VA.

Rep. Jared Huffman, a California Democrat who had pushed for the changes, declared victory after the move, and said it was a rejection of some of the sentiments seen at rallies for GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

“While racist individuals and groups continue to embrace the Confederate battle flag, it has never been more clear that this anachronistic symbol of hatred, slavery, and insurrection should not be promoted or gratuitously displayed on federal property,” Mr. Huffman said in releasing the VA letter last week.

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