Amid calls across the country to remove the Confederate flag from public spaces, the Pentagon said Wednesday there are “no discussions” to rename military installations named after Confederate military leaders.
When asked if the Pentagon was considering changing the names of bases that honor Confederate generals, Col. Steve Warren told reporters that the Defense Department policy is to allow each individual service to name its own installations, with no plans to change that policy.
“The Department of Defense’s position is that we have confidence in each of the services to appropriately name their posts, camps and stations,” Col. Warren said.
Lawmakers and officials around the country have called for the Confederate flag to be taken down from public spaces after a shooting last week that killed nine people at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina. The suspect, Dylann Roof, was seen in photographs with Confederate flag paraphernalia and allegedly attacked the church because of its African-American roots, NBC News reported.
In response, several lawmakers, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican and presidential hopeful, called for the flag to be removed from the state capitol earlier this week and retail giants such as Wal-Mart and Amazon announced they would no longer sell Confederate flag merchandise, according to CNN.
Brig. Gen. Malcolm Frost, chief of Army public affairs, said in a statement that every Army base is named for a soldier “who holds a place in our military history.”
“Accordingly, these historic names represent individuals, not causes or ideologies. It should be noted that the naming occurred in the spirit of reconciliation, not division,” Brig. Gen. Frost said.
Ten Army bases are named for Confederate officers, according to Time.com, including Fort Benning in Georgia, Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas and Fort Lee in Virginia.
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