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U.S. Navy to ban all public displays of the Confederate flag

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The U.S. Navy announced Tuesday that it is working on an order to ban the display of the Confederate flag, less than a week after the Marine Corps issued its directive to do so.  

"The Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Mike Gilday, has directed his staff to begin crafting an order that would prohibit the Confederate battle flag from all public spaces and work areas aboard Navy installations, ships, aircraft and submarines," spokesman Commander Nate Christensen said in a statement. "The order is meant to ensure unit cohesion, preserve good order and discipline, and uphold the Navy's core values of honor, courage and commitment."

The United States Marine Corps issued its order Friday, directing commanders to "identify and remove the display of the Confederate battle flag or its depiction within workplaces, common-access areas and public areas on their installations." 

The Marine Corps directive identified the Civil War Army of Northern Virginia battle flag as the one that must be taken down. It made an exception for works of art where the flag is present but not the main focus, Confederate gravesites, state-issued license plates depicting the flag and any official state flags that incorporate the Confederate battle flag. The directive applies to public displays in places like front yards, apparel and bumper stickers, as well.

The widespread protests and outcry over the death of George Floyd two weeks ago has convinced many state and local leaders to remove racist symbols in public spaces. Officials in Virginia, Alabama and Florida have been taking down Confederate statues and displays, and in some cases, protesters are destroying the markers themselves. 

David Martin, Jordan Freiman and Li Cohen contributed to this report.

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