WASHINGTON — The Confederate battle flag might raise feelings of southern pride for some people, but it can be hurtful for others, the top Marine tweeted Thursday, defending his order to banish the symbol from Marine Corps bases.
“This symbol has shown it has the power to inflame feelings of division,” Gen. David Berger wrote in a letter to Marines dated Monday and included in his tweet. “I cannot have that division inside our Corps.”
Berger wrote Marines from all backgrounds must trust each other in order to fight successfully together as a Corps, which is more valuable than any individuals who make up that team. The symbols that Marines should focus on are ones that unite them — the Corps’ eagle, globe and anchor; the American flag and the Marines’ exclusive MarPat camouflage uniforms, he wrote.
“In every facet of every significant endeavor involving Marines, the team has been the primary component,” the commandant wrote about his order banning all Confederate symbols. “We are a warfighting organization, an elite institution of warriors who depend on each other to win the tough battles. Anything that divides us, anything that threatens team cohesion must be addressed head-on.”