The House voted to ban some federal cemeteries from flying the Confederate flag Thursday.
A similar bid failed last year due to the objections of southern Republicans, but the measure sailed through the House 265-159 in Thursday’s vote, reports Politico. California Democratic Rep. Jared Huffman forced the vote by offering an amendment to an appropriations bill considered on the floor.
The amendment bans the flag from large-scale display at cemeteries overseen by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Flying the flag from flagpoles or over a mass grave would be prohibited under the law, and small Confederate flags on individual graves would only be allowed during Memorial Day and either Confederate Memorial Day or one other day during the year.
Huffman’s failed bid last year derailed the entire appropriations process, but won the blessing of GOP leaders Thursday.
Citing the shooting at an Episcopal church in Charleston, S.C., last year by a Confederate sympathizer, Huffman said Thursday it doesn’t make sense to continue allowing the “hateful” “symbol of treason” to fly in national cemeteries.
“Symbols like the Confederate battle flag have meaning,” he said on the House floor. “They’re not just neutral, historical symbols of pride. They represent slavery, oppression, lynching and hate. To continue to allow national policy condoning the display of this symbol on federal property is wrong, and it’s disrespectful to what our country stands for and what our veterans stands for.”
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