The House has voted to ban the display of the Confederate flag on flagpoles at Department of Veterans Affairs 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."

After a mass shooting at a 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.