WASHINGTON, DC – Today, after the U.S. Department of Defense issued a memo to ban displays of the Confederate flag on military installations, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), a former Army Ranger and the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:

“This is the right move and it’s long overdue.  This may not have been the outcome President Trump wanted, but it is the one our troops, military leaders, and the American people overwhelmingly support.

“Flags are symbols and this is a symbolic move that demonstrates that racism and discrimination have no place in an organization that requires unity of purpose and action. 

“Banning the flag is easy and must be followed with the more difficult task of eradicating racism, prejudice, sexism, and all forms of discrimination from the ranks.  The military is engaged in serious, meaningful self-examination, action, and reform to address these challenges.  That long march toward progress must continue.”

This issue is separate and apart from the bipartisan provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 that establishes a Pentagon commission to rename U.S. military bases that honor Confederate leaders within three years.  Senator Reed strongly supports that provision, which President Trump has threatened to veto the entire NDAA over, if it is not removed.