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Amid the civil unrest and protests across the nation over racism and police brutality, the U.S. Marine Corps has announced a ban of all depictions of the Confederate battle flag at its installations.

This includes depictions on clothing, a flag, poster, bumper stickers, and mugs, Yahoo reports. Exempt from the ban are educational materials and works of art or historical displays of the Civil War where the flag is featured but not the main focus.

READ MORE: Marine sentenced for threatening to assassinate Trump

The ban does not apply to state flags that include the Confederate battle flag, like Mississippi, the report states.

“The Confederate battle flag has all too often been co-opted by violent extremist and racist groups whose divisive beliefs have no place in our Corps,” a statement from the Marine Corps on Friday read. “Our history as a nation, and events like the violence in Charlottesville in 2017, highlight the divisiveness the use of the Confederate battle flag has had on our society.”

The U.S. Marine Corps shared a post on Twitter noting details on the ban. The guidelines define the flag as the ensign “carried by Confederate armies during the Civil War, most notably by the army of northern Virginia, but also was carried by other Confederate states’ armies.”

Today, the Marine Corps released guidance on the removal of public displays of the Confederate battle flag.

MARADMIN 331/20:

— U.S. Marines (@USMC) June 6, 2020

The ban of the Confederate battle flag was first announced in February 2020 but details wear not made clear at the time as to what paraphernalia was included. Friday’s statement is the first to breakdown the specifics.

“Current events are a stark reminder that it is not enough for us to remove symbols that cause division — rather, we also must strive to eliminate division itself,” the commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. David Berger, said in a statement Wednesday.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

As noted by Newsweek, Berger previously told, “things that divide us are not good… When on government property, we have to think as a unit and how to build a team, a cohesive team.”

The ban was enacted “to support our core values, ensure unit cohesion and security, and preserve good order and discipline.”

READ MORE: Two Marines under investigation for Blackface video and racial slurs ‘Hello Monkey’

Meanwhile, the protests sparked by Floyd’s death have prompted city officials in Virginia and Indiana to remove Confederate statues from public areas, including the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy.

“The legacy of racism continues, not just in isolated incidents,” Richmond Gov. Ralph Northam said Thursday. “The legacy of racism also continues as part of a system that touches every person and every aspect of our lives.”

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UN: Nuclear weapons ban treaty to enter into force

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations announced Saturday that 50 countries have ratified a U.N. treaty to ban nuclear weapons triggering its entry into force in 90 days, a move hailed by anti-nuclear activists but strongly opposed by the United States and the other major nuclear powers.

As of Friday, the treaty had 49 signatories, and U.N. officials said the 50th ratification from Honduras had been received.

“This moment has been 75 years coming since the horrific attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the founding of the U.N. which made nuclear disarmament a cornerstone,” said Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize-winning coalition whose work helped spearhead the nuclear ban treaty. “The 50 countries that ratify this Treaty are showing true leadership in setting a new international norm that nuclear weapons are not just immoral but illegal.”

The 50th ratification came on the 75th anniversary of the ratification of the U.N. Charter which officially established the United Nations and is celebrated as UN Day.

“The United Nations was formed to promote peace with a goal of the abolition of nuclear weapons,” Fihn said. “This treaty is the U.N. at its best — working closely with civil society to bring democracy to disarmament.”

The United States had written to treaty signatories saying the Trump administration believes they made “a strategic error” and urging them to rescind their ratification.

The U.S. letter, obtained by The Associated Press, said the five original nuclear powers — the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France — and America’s NATO allies “stand unified in our opposition to the potential repercussions” of the treaty.

It says the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, known as the TPNW, “turns back the clock on verification and disarmament and is dangerous” to the half-century-old Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, considered the cornerstone of global nonproliferation efforts.

“The TPNW is and will remain divisive in the international community and risk further entrenching divisions in existing nonproliferation and disarmament fora that offer the only realistic prospect for consensus-based progress,” the letter said. “It would be unfortunate if the TPNW were allowed to derail our ability to work together to address pressing proliferation.”

Fihn has stressed that “the nonproliferation Treaty is about preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and eliminating nuclear weapons, and this treaty implements that. There’s no way you can undermine the Nonproliferation Treaty by banning nuclear weapons. It’s the end goal of the Nonproliferation Treaty.”

The NPT sought to prevent the spread of nuclear arms beyond the five original weapons powers. It requires non-nuclear signatory nations to not pursue atomic weapons in exchange for a commitment by the five powers to move toward nuclear disarmament and to guarantee non-nuclear states’ access to peaceful nuclear technology for producing energy.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has supported the nuclear weapons ban treaty, calling it “a very welcome initiative.”

“It is clear for me that we will only be entirely safe in relation to nuclear weapons the day where nuclear weapons no longer exist,” he said in an interview Wednesday with AP. “We know that it’s not easy. We know that there are many obstacles.”

He expressed hope that a number of important initiatives, including U.S.-Russia talks on renewing the New Start Treaty limiting deployed nuclear warheads, missiles and bombers and next year’s review conference of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, “will all converge in the same direction, and the final objective must be to have a world with no nuclear weapons.”

The treaty was approved by the 193-member U.N. General Assembly on July 7, 2017 by a vote of 122 in favor, the Netherlands opposed, and Singapore abstaining. Among countries voting in favor was Iran. The five nuclear powers and four other countries known or believed to possess nuclear weapons — India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel — boycotted negotiations and the vote on the treaty, along with many of their allies.

Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima, who has been an ardent campaigner for the treaty, said: “When I learned that we reached our 50th ratification, I was not able to stand.”

“I remained in my chair and put my head in my hands and I cried tears of joy,” she said in a statement. “I have committed my life to the abolition of nuclear weapons. I have nothing but gratitude for all who have worked for the success of our treaty.”

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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