The Marine Corps said it will no longer allow its troops to display the Confederate battle flag.
â€œThe Confederate battle flag has all too often been co-opted by violent extremists and racist groups whose divisive beliefs have no place in our Corps.â€ the military branch said in a statement released Friday.Â
The Confederacy lost the Civil War, which it fought to preserve slavery.
Marines will no longer be able to display the flag in public and on items including bumper stickers, clothing and mugs.
In its decision, the Marine Corps cited the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 in which anti-racist protester Heather Heyer was murdered by a white supremacistÂ
The hate symbol â€œpresents a threat to our core values, unit cohesion, security and good order and discipline,â€ the statement said.
Last week, Confederate statues in Virginia and Alabama were taken down. The removals come as protests have ignited across the country following the police killing of Black Minneapolis man George Floyd.Â
â€œI am mindful that many people believe that flag to be a symbol of heritage or regional pride,â€ Marine Corps commandant Gen. David Berger said in an April memo. â€œBut I am also mindful of the feelings of pain and rejection of those who inherited the cultural memory and present effects of the scourge of slavery in our country.â€
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