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Rep. Ruben Gallego and Rep. Lacy Clay Introduce Bill to Prohibit Confederate Flags at VA Cemeteries

July 9, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Ruben Gallego and Congresswoman Lacy Clay introduced a bill to prohibit the Confederate Battle Flag at cemeteries operated by the Department of VeteransAffairs (VA). The VA currently permits the display of the Confederate flag on Memorial Day as well as on Confederate Memorial Day on 131 facilities. 

Congressman Ruben Gallego said, “The confederate flag is a symbol of hate and intolerance, and it will forever be associated with the injustices of slavery and Jim Crow. It’s time for the Department of Veteran Affairs to change their policy allowing the Confederate Flag at cemeteries honoring American war heroes. He added, “The Confederate flag does not represent the values our veterans fought to defend. It is a painful reminder of a terrible time in our history when we treated human beings as less than. Our country needs to heal, and VA cemeteries should be a place of reflection, remembrance and tribute to those that embody the very best in our country.”

Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D) Missouri said, “The Confederate battle flag is a treasonous symbol of a war of insurrection instigated by white supremacists who made war on the United States to preserve the horrors of slavery and the cursed economic system that it fueled by subjugating and humiliating millions of African Americans for almost 300 years.”   Mr. Clay added, “This bloody relic of racial terrorism, which was embraced last month by Dylann Roof as he gunned down nine innocent souls in prayer at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, is the very same banner of hatred that has been proudly displayed by the Ku Klux Klan for 150 years.  It has no place in any national cemetery administered by the Veterans Administration. Our bill would finally prohibit this highly offensive practice.”