Jul 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump says he's not offended by the Confederate flag

President Trump defended his opposition to removing Confederate symbols in an interview with "Fox News Sunday," telling host Chris Wallace that the flag does not offend him and that for many people it "represents the South."

Why it matters: Trump has attacked organizations like NASCAR that have banned the Confederate flag, claiming it's an infringement on freedom of speech. He has also threatened to veto a defense bill that would rename military installations named for Confederate leaders, despite bipartisan support in Congress.

What he's saying: "When people proudly hang their Confederate flags, they're not talking about racism. They love their flag, it represents the South," Trump said.

  • "I'm not offended either by Black Lives Matter, that's freedom of speech. You know the whole thing with cancel culture — we can't cancel our whole history. We can't forget that the North and the South fought."

Pressed on the issue of military bases, Trump again said he would consider vetoing the National Defense Authorization Act and dismissed the fact that military leaders support renaming them.

  • "I don't care what the military says. I'm supposed to make the decision," he said. "Fort Bragg is a big deal. We won two world wars — nobody even knows General Bragg. We won two world wars."
  • "What are we going to rename it? You going to name it after the Reverend Al Sharpton? What are you going to name it, Chris?"

Go deeper: Pentagon effectively bans Confederate flag from military installations

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