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American and Confederate flags fly on May 7 at a residence in the neighborhood where Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, lived in Brunswick, Georgia. He was killed on Feb 23. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

The U.S. Marines have issued a directive ordering the removal of all public displays of the Confederate flag, including from bumper stickers, posters, mugs, posters and clothing.

Why it matters: In a statement, the Marines said the flag has been "co-opted by violent extremist and racist groups whose divisive beliefs have no place in our Corps."

The big picture: Exceptions to the ban, issued on Friday, include state flags that incorporate the Confederate flag and the gravesites of Confederate soldiers.

  • Marine Corps commandant Gen. David Berger, said on Wednesday in a statement on the nationwide protests against racism and the killing of George Floyd, "Current events are a stark reminder that it is not enough for us to remove symbols that cause division — rather, we also must strive to eliminate division itself."
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper: 112-year-old Confederate statue in N.C. is removed

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

Pfizer-BioNTech: Booster doses more effective at blocking Omicron

Prepared doses of the BioNtech-Pfizer Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine in Germany on Dec. 7. Photo: Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said Wednesday that two doses of their COVID-19 vaccine were significantly less effective at neutralizing the Omicron variant in early lab tests, but a three-dose regimen was more effective.

Why it matters: Omicron, which has been labeled a variant of concern by the World Health Organization after being identified by scientists in South Africa last month, has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines against this specific new form of coronavirus.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Biden unveils "Building a Better America" branding

President Biden speaks on infrastructure while visiting a bridge in Woodstock, N.H., last month. Photo: John Tully/Getty Images

President Biden today launched a new website and unveiled bold new branding as part of a nationwide tour to sell the benefits of his infrastructure package.

Why it matters: The White House says passage of the new law shows the ability to "forge bipartisan consensus and prove our democracy can deliver big wins" even in these toxic times.

3 hours ago - World

Olaf Scholz sworn in as German chancellor, succeeding Merkel

Incoming German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is sworn in by Bundestag President Bärbel Bas in Berlin today. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Social Democrat Olaf Scholz was sworn in as chancellor of Germany on Wednesday, succeeding Angela Merkel after 16 years and launching a new era of German and European politics.

Why it matters: Scholz, a center-left pragmatist who served as finance minister and vice chancellor in Merkel's last government, will lead Europe's largest economy in a coalition with the environmentalist Greens and pro-business Free Democrats.