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Pennsylvania candidate Mastriano posed in Confederate uniform at Army War College


Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano speaks during a campaign rally at The Fuge on May 14, 2022 in Warminster, Pennsylvania.

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

Three years before retiring from the U.S. Army in 2017, Donald Trump-backed Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano posed in Confederate uniform for a school photo on the Army War College, in line with a duplicate of the photo obtained by Reuters.

The previously unreported photo, released by the War College to Reuters after a request under the Freedom of Information Act, showed Mastriano in a 2013-14 portrait for the Department of Military Strategy, Plans, and Operations, where he worked.

Faculty on the time had been given the choice of dressing as a historical figure, people acquainted with the photo said. Not less than 15 of the 21 faculty within the photo opted to seem in regular attire. Although one man wears a trench coat and sunglasses and one other carries an aviator’s helmet, Mastriano is the just one wearing a Confederate uniform.

Mastriano didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment made by email and phone. A Reuters reporter attended a Mastriano event on Wednesday to hunt comment, however the candidate didn’t make himself available for questions.

Displays of Confederate symbols will be seen as insensitive to those that view them as painful reminders of racial oppression and the Civil War that saw 11 rebelling Confederate states fight to maintain Black people enslaved.

The U.S. military issued a de facto ban on displaying the Confederate flag and has sought to remove segregationist symbols from bases and academic institutions following the murder in May 2020 of George Floyd, a Black man whose killing by a white police officer in Minneapolis triggered protests worldwide.

After Reuters made its formal request for the photo, it was faraway from the War College wall where it had hung alongside other annual portraits of college groups.

The Army War College (AWC), a premier military higher education institution in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, told Reuters a team had reviewed all art, text, and other images displayed at Carlisle Barracks in 2020, but missed the college photo.

“The school photo didn’t get the team’s attention; the photo has since been removed since it doesn’t meet AWC values,” the faculty said in an announcement.

Asked in regards to the War College photo, a spokesperson at U.S. Army headquarters said: “The Army supports commanders who remove symbols or images that don’t comport with Army values.”

Confederate symbols and dress have been embraced by white supremacists in america, and monuments and flags honoring the Confederacy have been faraway from many public areas lately.

Pennsylvania plays an outsized role in U.S. politics as a so-called swing state in presidential elections, and Republican Mastriano, who has embraced Trump’s stolen election lies, is trailing his Democratic opponent within the governor’s race ahead of the November ballot.

It’s unclear how the photo could be viewed in Pennsylvania, which played a critical role within the Civil War. Greater than 33,000 soldiers from Pennsylvania died fighting for the Union, and the state was the location of the Battle of Gettysburg, the conflict’s bloodiest battle, which ended with a Union victory and inspired President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Mastriano’s district, Pennsylvania’s thirty third, includes Gettysburg.

Many Americans proceed to take part in Civil War battle re-enactments, wearing uniforms from each side in an effort to preserve U.S. history.

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