U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat is trying once again to ensure no federal monies pay for Civil War-era hate symbols, re-introducing his No Funding for Confederate Symbols Act.
If passed, the bill is intended to prohibit federal funds from being used to create, maintain or display any Confederate symbol on federal public land. That would include highways, parks, subways, federal building, military bases or streets.
“The Confederate battle flag remains one of the most intractable symbols from the darkest chapter of U.S. history, representing racism, slavery, the oppression of African Americans,” Espaillat said, in a release.
“As we mark the fourth year since the violence and death that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, and as we witnessed the attack at the U.S. Capitol earlier this year, we reaffirm our commitment to combating white-supremacist ideologies, and efforts to memorialize white nationalist screed. These sentiments are manifest in Confederate symbols that remain present to this day, and their continued presence only further inflame our country as inspiration to stoke division, fear and hate.”
Espaillat is joined by Pennsylvania Democrat U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans.
The two introduced the bill in the last session with more than 100 co-sponsors, only to watch it die in committee. Its backers included nearly all of the New York delegation, like former U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel.
“After the cold-blooded racist murders in a Charleston church in 2015 and at a Charlottesville rally in 2017 — followed by the Capitol riot in 2021 — there should be no question that the Confederate flag is strongly associated with hate and violence stoked by racists and white supremacists,” Evans said, in a release.
“It is an insult to African Americans — and all Americans — to have our tax dollars used to create, maintain or display Confederate symbols on federal property.”