Passage of two Huffman amendments would curtail sales, displays of Confederate flags
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. House of Representatives last night unanimously approved two amendments offered by Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) to prevent the future sale of Confederate flag merchandise in National Park Service (NPS) stores and to disallow any grave in any Federal cemetery operated by the Park Service to be decorated with a Confederate flag.
“While many concessionaires have agreed to follow the request of the National Park Service, I am dismayed by reports that some will continue to sell items with Confederate flag imagery," said Huffman. “I am very pleased that the House has now, in a bipartisan manner, supported my amendments and joined the movement to end the public promotion of the cruel, racist legacy of the Confederacy.”
In June, the National Park Service urged gift shops and bookstores to stop the sale of Confederate flag merchandise. Huffman’s amendment to the Interior Appropriations Act of 2015 would prevent the future sale of all non-educational merchandise, whether belt buckles, lapel pins, or posters. In some Southern states with “Confederate Memorial Day,” the National Park Service currently allows local organizations to decorate Confederate graves with Confederate flags. NPS policy is to remove these flags as quickly as possible after the “Confederate Memorial Day.” Huffman’s amendment would prevent them from allowing the local organizations to decorate the graves in the first place.
Huffman spoke on the House floor in support of his amendment, footage of which can be found HERE.
A transcript of Huffman’s remarks can be found below:
“The tragic shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, has forced a national conversation about symbols like the Confederate battle flag that represent racism, slavery, and division.
“Like you, I applaud leaders in South Carolina and other Southern states, both Democrat and Republican, and countless others who have called on their states to end the display of the Confederate flag on government property, including on state houses and license plates.
“With the consideration of the Interior Appropriations bill, this House has the opportunity to add its voice by ending the promotion of the cruel, racist legacy of the Confederacy. The National Park Service has asked its gift shops, bookstores, and other concessionaires to voluntarily end the sale of stand-alone items such as flags, pins, and belt buckles that contain imagery of the Confederate flag. While many concessionaires have agreed, I am dismayed by reports that some will continue to sell items with Confederate flag imagery.
“This amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill would end these sales, preventing the National Park Service from allowing the continued promotion of the Confederacy. Major American retailers like Walmart, Amazon, eBay, and Etsy have already taken steps to ban sales of this type of merchandise, and we have an obligation to ensure that Federal agencies have the same authority and direction.”