A proposal by Rep. Huffman to add language to block the Park Service, which maintains 14 national cemeteries, most of which contain graves of Civil War soldiers, from allowing private groups to decorate the graves of Southern soldiers with Confederate flags in states that commemorate Confederate Memorial Day, is passed by voice vote. The Andersonville and Vicksburg cemeteries in Georgia and Mississippi are affected. Huffman:
The American Civil War was fought, in Abraham Lincoln’s words, to ‘save the last best hope of Earth. We can honor that history without celebrating the Confederate flag and all of the dreadful things that it symbolizes.
Rep. Palazzo protests the move:
I strongly oppose the inclusion of this amendment, which was slipped into the bill in the dead of night with no debate. Congress cannot simply rewrite history and strip the Confederate flag from existence. Members of Congress from New York and California cannot wipe away 150 years of Southern history with sleight-of-hand tactics.
The Park Service funding bill is scheduled for a vote July 9.