The Navy is following the Marine Corps in banning the display of Confederate symbols on its installations, including aboard warships and aircraft, the service announced on Tuesday.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday has directed his staff to “begin crafting an order that would prohibit the Confederate battle flag from all public spaces and work areas aboard Navy installations, ships, aircraft and submarines,” spokesman Cmdr. Nate Christensen said in a statement.
The phrasing “public spaces and work areas” would still potentially allow the display of Confederate symbols in private spaces aboard ship or base, such as bunk or locker.
The order “is meant to ensure unit cohesion, preserve good order and discipline, and uphold the Navy’s core values of honor, courage and commitment,” Christensen added.
The announcement came just days after the Marine Corps officially banned the Confederate battle flag from both public and work spaces on its military bases after previously announcing plans to do so in February.
“In doing so, I am mindful that many people believe the flag to be a symbol of heritage or regional pride,” Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger wrote in an April 20 message to Marines. “But 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.”
The Army on Monday also announced that it was open to renaming military bases that had been previously named for Confederate leaders.
The changes come amid nationwide protests against racism and police brutality following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man, at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated with more information as it becomes available