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SPLC Action Fund Responds to U.S. House of Representatives Approval of the National Defense Authorization Act

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — SPLC Action Fund Chief of Staff Lecia Brooks released the following statement in response to the bipartisan U.S. House of Representatives approval of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), 295-125, which includes provisions to prohibit the display of the Confederate battle flag on Department of Defense property and requires the Secretary of Defense to identify and rename military installations around the world named for leaders of the Confederacy.

“We are pleased that the House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved provisions in the NDAA designed to address racist symbols, violent extremism and white supremacy in the Armed Forces, and a number of other provisions designed to help identify and address longstanding racial and ethnic disparities in the military.

“Our shared heritage and values reject any need to glorify a repulsive time in American history by honoring those who committed treason against the United States and fought and died to keep Black people enslaved and intimidated. The removal of these dehumanizing and oppressive displays and symbols from military installations and public spaces across the country is long overdue.

“It’s encouraging to see that our elected officials are finally starting to address the systemic structures that uphold antiblack racism and white supremacy.”

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The SPLC does not support erasing history, nor the defacing and/or destruction of any historic artifact. Learn about Confederate symbols on public land in the SPLC’s “Whose Heritage?” report.

In 2018, the SPLC released an updated version of its Whose Heritage? report, identifying nearly 1,800 Confederate monuments, parks, schools, state holidays and other symbols of the Confederacy in public spaces across the South and the nation.