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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

Far-right groups clash with anti-racism protesters in U.S. cities

The Proud Boys, a far-right group, faces off against Black Lives Matters protesters using mace and a paint ball gun in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday. Photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Far-right demonstrators clashed with anti-racism protesters in several U.S. cities on Saturday, per USA Today.

Driving the news: In Portland, counter-protesters at a pro-police rally were "aiming pepper spray and firing some kind of pellet gun at people" as Black Lives Matter demonstrators marked an 80th straight day of protests, the Oregonian reports.

Biden warned Putin of specific "consequences" if Russia invades Ukraine

Photo: Kremlin Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In a video call that lasted for just over two hours on Tuesday, President Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that if Russia invades Ukraine the U.S. will impose unprecedented sanctions and provide additional weaponry to the Ukrainians, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.

Why it matters: Russia's military activity on the border with Ukraine has triggered alarms from the U.S. and its European allies of a potential large-scale Russian invasion in early 2022. Sullivan said Biden made clear to Putin that, "things we did not do in 2014, we are prepared to do now."

Senate leaders sell members on debt limit deal

Sen. Chuck Schumer (L) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are urging their respective caucuses to back a deal that would clear a path to raising the debt ceiling.

Driving the news: The agreement, negotiated by the two leaders and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), involves Congress passing a law allowing a one-time rule change so the Senate can raise the debt ceiling with just 51 votes, rather than the 60 typically needed to overcome the filibuster.