(CNN) — In a move that could pit the Joint Chiefs of Staff and senior military leaders against President Donald Trump, a draft Pentagon policy document to ban the Confederate flag from being displayed at military bases has been circulating for the last week at the highest levels of the military, a defense official directly familiar with the document told CNN.
It has yet to be formally approved while military legal personnel review how to ensure a ban can properly be carried out, the official said.
A decision to move ahead with a department-wide ban could now come soon, the official said. It is not known if Defense Secretary Mark Esper will seek Trump’s approval to proceed with the ban.
Marine Corps Commandant General David Berger and the head of US forces in Korea, General Robert Abrams, have already instituted bans on displays of the flag at Marine bases and in South Korea. The Navy, Army and Air Force military chiefs and their civilian counterparts have all been working on similar bans.
The Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Mike Gilday, last month directed his staff to begin crafting an order that would ban the flag from all public spaces and work areas aboard Navy installations, ships, aircraft and submarines, according to a Navy official. Army and Air Force bans had been ready to go with similar bans as well, according to multiple officials.
Word of the potential military ban came the same day the White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany avoided specifically answering multiple questions from reporters about the President’s apparent support for flying the flag at NASCAR events. She said the President was not “making a judgment call” about the flag in a tweet where he suggested that NASCAR ratings were down because of the decision to ban the flag. It also comes as President Trump continues to push back against efforts to remove the names of Confederate generals from several military bases.
This story is breaking and will be updated.
The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.