Some National Guard units have failed to surrender Confederate streamers as ordered

 September 12, 2023

The Department of Defense announced in January that it has begun implementing the directives from a congressionally mandated Naming Commission created two years ago.

Chaired by retired Navy Adm. Michelle Howard the commission is tasked with removing Confederate names and symbols from the military. Yet according to Fox News, not everyone is following its orders. 

Some National Guard units have not complied with directive

The network reported this week that Army National Guard units in some southern states have thus far failed to turn over Civil War-themed battle streamers to the Army's Human Resources Command.

These include units located in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia. While Maryland was also on the list, National Guard officials in that state say troops there have since complied.

A statement provided to Fox News explained that "the Maryland National Guard no longer possesses the battle streamers commemorating Confederate service formerly displayed on unit colors."

"These streamers were returned to the U.S. Army on March 21, 2023, well in advance of the mandated deadline," a spokesperson for the Maryland National Guard was quoted as saying.

Units had until September 1 to comply

"As a professional military organization, we would never intentionally disregard legitimate directives from duly constituted authorities," the official went on to add.

Fox News stated that the Army has managed to collect 438 out of the identified 491 streamers. The streamers were taken from units in Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.

National Guard units had until September 1 to comply with the surrender order. Some of the remaining streamers are currently on display in museums while others are believed to have been lost or stolen.

Neither the Army's Human Resources Command nor units in the listed states responded to Fox News' request for comments.

Blue and gray patch allowed to remain in use

A report published by the nonprofit National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) noted that the Naming Commission decided that the blue and gray patch of the Army National Guard's 29th Infantry Division could remain in use.

Created during World War I, the patch was designed as a show of unity between Americans from the formerly Union and Confederate states of Maryland and Virginia.

NGAUS noted that while the patch was at one point looked at by the eight-member commission, it was given a pass following testimony from veterans and supporters.

"The community of the 29th ID indicates that they view the symbol as a unifying symbol for America," Howard was quoted as saying in a letter to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees.

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