Trump says Confederate flag proud symbol of U.S. South

By Doina Chiacu WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump declined to say the Confederate flag was an offensive symbol in an interview broadcast on Sunday, saying it is a source of pride for people who love the South. The Republican president was asked on 'Fox News Sunday' if the flag, a symbol of U.S.

Reuters July 20, 2020 04:10:08 IST
Trump says Confederate flag proud symbol of U.S. South

Trump says Confederate flag proud symbol of US South

By Doina Chiacu

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump declined to say the Confederate flag was an offensive symbol in an interview broadcast on Sunday, saying it is a source of pride for people who love the South.

The Republican president was asked on "Fox News Sunday" if the flag, a symbol of U.S. slavery and white supremacy for many Americans, was offensive.

"It depends on who you're talking about, when you're talking about," Trump responded. "When people proudly had their Confederate flags they're not talking about racism. They love their flag, it represents the South. They like the South ... I say it's freedom of many things, but it's freedom of speech."

Trump has in the past appeared sympathetic to the flag and symbols of the Confederacy of the 1861-65 Civil War.

In 2017, he criticized the removal of monuments to the Confederacy and said there were "very fine people on both sides" of a deadly clash in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Earlier this month, he criticized NASCAR’s ban of the Confederate flag from its events.

Breaking with several of his fellow Republicans in Congress, Trump has promised to veto the annual National Defense Authorization Act over an amendment to remove the names of Confederate generals from military bases within a year.

"We won World Wars out of these, out of these military bases, no I'm not gonna go changing. I'm not gonna go changing," Trump said in the interview, which was taped on Friday.

He drew a parallel to the Black Lives Matter movement that was born out of police brutality targeting Black Americans.

"I’m not offended either by Black Lives Matter. That’s freedom of speech," Trump said.

Former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell, who last month endorsed Democrat Joe Biden in the November election, said on CBS' "Face the Nation" the Confederate flag represents something that was never the United States of America.

"It was the Confederate States of America. They were not part of us and this is not the time to keep demonstrating who they were and what they were back then," said Powell, who is Black. "This is time to move on. Let's get going. We have one flag and only one flag only."

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Sonya Hepinstall)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.