House Would Ban Confederate Flags on VA Cemetery Flagpoles

WASHINGTON (AP) -
Confederate flags fly over the graves of Confederate soldiers at Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston., S.C.  (AP Photo/Bruce Smith)
Confederate flags fly over the graves of Confederate soldiers at Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston., S.C. (AP Photo/Bruce Smith)

The House has voted to ban the display of the Confederate flag on flagpoles at Veterans Administration cemeteries.

The 265-159 vote would block descendants and others seeking to commemorate veterans of the Confederate States of America from flying the Confederate Battle Flag over mass graves, even on days that flag displays are permitted.

California Democrat Jared Huffman authored the prohibition, saying the flag represents “racism, slavery and division.”

In the wake of a mass shooting at a historic South Carolina black church last year, the state legislature ordered the flag removed from the capitol in Columbia.

The House approved amendments last year to block the display and sale of the Confederate flag at national parks, but a backlash from Southern Republicans caused GOP leaders to scrap the underlying spending bill.