Washington, DC – Today during the National Defense Authorization Act markup, Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee voted to adopt an amendment that would allow the state of South Carolina to override a federal measure withdrawing ROTC support for The Citadel if it continues flying the Confederate battle flag.
Ranking Member Adam Smith, in consultation with Congressman James Clyburn, introduced a measure that would have withdrawn support for ROTC at The Citadel if the Confederate battle flag continued to fly. In order to avoid voting on that measure, Republicans introduced and passed a modified amendment that would allow the flag to continue flying if The Citadel’s Board of Visitors voted to remove the flag, even though such a vote cannot remove the flag under South Carolina law.
“This failure to take down the Confederate battle flag is an extremely disappointing statement of principles,” said Smith. “Needless to say this symbol of slavery, rebellion, racial oppression, and resistance to the rule of law is not appropriate to fly over institutions that train our next generation of military officers, and it is bizarre to allow the flag to fly above an academy when the military services do not allow the same flag to be displayed in servicemembers’ rooms. They should have voted to take it down instead of dodging the issue.”