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Meeks Amendment Prohibiting Confederate Names for DOD Assets Included in NDAA Passage

December 11, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Gregory W. Meeks issued the following statement regarding his amendment, prohibiting the Department of Defense (DOD) from naming assets after confederate leaders or battlefield victories, was included in the final passage of NDAA:

“I am excited to see included in the NDAA’s passage language that prohibits the naming of DOD assets after Confederate leaders or victories. Any homage to the Confederacy serves only to glorify that inglorious moment in our nation’s history, where brother turned on brother for the preservation of slavery.

“Confederate symbols have historically been used as tools of oppression and intimidation, during the height of Jim Crow long after the Civil War, used by states championing the segregation of African Americans. They are used today, among white nationalists and neo-Nazis. To ignore the racial context of confederate symbols is to whitewash the fundamental reason our nation went to war with itself.

“These are not symbols to be exalted, not in our public square and certainly not in our armed forces. Those we’ve entrusted to defend the union should not be serving on ships named after those who fought to undo it. I thank all my colleagues who joined together across party lines to rightfully end this practice once and for all.”

 

Text of the NDAA section below:

SEC. 1749. PROHIBITION ON NAMES RELATED TO THE CON11 FEDERACY.

 

(a) PROHIBITION ON NAMES RELATED TO THE CONFEDERACY.—In naming a new asset or renaming an existing asset, the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of a military department may not give a name to an asset that refers to, or includes a term referring to, the Confederate States of America (commonly referred to as the ‘‘Confederacy’’), including any name referring to—

 

(1) a person who served or held leadership within the Confederacy; or

(2) a Confederate battlefield victory.

 

(b) ASSET DEFINED.—In this section, the term ‘‘asset’’ includes any base, installation, facility, aircraft, ship, equipment, or any other property owned or controlled by the Department of Defense or a military department.

 

(c) SAVINGS CLAUSE.—Nothing in this section may be construed as requiring a Secretary concerned to initiate a review of previously named assets.