According to recent reports, the Department of Veterans Affairs is working to ban prominent displays of the Confederate flag in cemeteries funded by federal tax dollars.
“Congress had debated and rejected that change, but the Obama administration decided to move forward anyway, saying it was unilaterally imposing the restrictions,” the Washington Times reported.
The new policy is being pushed by Rep. Jared Huffman, who joined with several other Democrats to put pressure on the VA over the issue. In a letter to the VA this summer, Huffman encouraged the Department to make a decision on the matter.
Ronald Walters, who is currently the undersecretary for memorial affairs, responded to Huffman’s letter on Friday.
“We are aware of the concerns of those who wish to see Confederate flags removed from public venues because they are perceived by many as a symbol of racial intolerances,” Walters claimed, before confirming the Veterans Affairs Department would be making changes. “In particular, we will amend our police to make clear that Confederate flags will not be displayed from any permanently fixed flagpole in a national cemetery at any time.”
The new policy will go into effect later this year, and will impact all ceremonies receiving federal funding. Private individuals or groups can still put smaller versions of the flag or its image on individual graves, but they can only do so with private funding.
“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,” Huffman argued. “That’s why I am so grateful that the Department of Veterans Affairs responded to our letter and to public concerns and decided to prohibit the large-scale display of Confederate flags on our national Veterans cemeteries.”
Of course, the measure was met with outrage from everyone who actually knows the historical significance of the flag.
Source: American News