Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. Photo: Greg Nash/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Pentagon effectively banned the display of the Confederate flag on military installations, per a memo signed Thursday by Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

Why it matters: The move was done in a way meant to largely avoid President Trump's ire by not explicitly banning it. The memo instead listed flags that are allowed to be displayed on military property, leaving out the Confederate flag.

  • On Tuesday, Trump told CBS News that flying the Confederate flag was a "freedom of speech" issue.
  • Trump also said last month that he will "not even consider" renaming the 10 U.S. military bases that are named after Confederate leaders.

What they're saying: "We must always remain focused on what unifies us, our sworn oath to the Constitution and our shared duty to defend the nation," Esper’s memo read.

  • "The flags we fly must accord with the military imperatives of good order and discipline, treating all our people with dignity and respect, and rejecting divisive symbols."

Flashback: The Navy and Marines both issued policies last month to ban Confederate symbols on their properties.

Go deeper: Confederate monuments become flashpoints in protests against racism

Go deeper

Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 20,089,624 — Total deaths: 736,191 Total recoveries — 12,280,520Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 5,094,394 — Total deaths: 163,463 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. Politics: Trump claims he would have not called for Obama to resign over 160,000 virus deathsHouse will not hold votes until Sept. 14 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. Business: Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out.
  5. Public health: 5 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — A dual coronavirus and flu threat is set to deliver a winter from hell.
  6. Sports: The cost of kids losing gym class — College football is on the brink.
  7. World: Europe's CDC recommends new restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases."
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump whisked out of press briefing after shooting outside White House

President Trump was escorted out of a coronavirus press briefing by a Secret Service agent on Monday evening after law enforcement reportedly shot an armed suspect outside of the White House.

What's new: The 51-year-old suspect approached a uniformed Secret Service officer on the corner of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, near the White House, and said he had a weapon, the agency alleged in a statement late Monday. He "ran aggressively towards the officer, and in a drawing motion, withdrew the object from his clothing."

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Protests in Belarus turn deadly following sham election

Belarus law enforcement officers guard a street during a protest on Monday night. Police in Minsk have fired rubber bullets for a second night against protesters. Photo: Natalia Fedosenko/TASS via Getty Image

Protesters and security forces have been clashing across Belarus overnight in a second night of protests that has left at least one person dead, hundreds injured and thousands arrested.

Why it matters: Sunday’s rigged presidential elections have yielded political uncertainty unlike any seen in Aleksander Lukashenko’s 26-year tenure. After claiming an implausible 80% of the vote, Lukashenko is using every tool in the authoritarian arsenal to maintain his grip on power.