Navy

SEALs Punished for Flying Trump Flag on Highway

A group of East Coast-based Navy SEALs who attracted viral attention when they were filmed in January flying a Trump flag from their tactical vehicle in a convoy has been punished for violating military regulations prohibiting political endorsement.

Lt. Jacqui Maxwell, a spokeswoman for Naval Special Warfare Group 2 out of Little Creek, Virginia, told Military.com the unit commanding officer had completed an investigation into the incident.

"It has been determined that those service members have violated the spirit and intent of applicable [Defense Department] regulations concerning the flying of flags and the apparent endorsement of political activities," she said in a statement. "Administrative corrective measures were taken with each individual based on their respective responsibility."

Maxwell could not say how many troops were involved in the caper or when the punishments were administered.

The blue-and-white Trump flag was filmed being flown from a Humvee leading a convoy on a highway in Louisville, Kentucky, on Jan. 29. SEALs from Little Creek had been conducting training at nearby Fort Knox.

The Lexington Herald-Leader, which earlier reported the news, said the convoy included eight Humvees traveling north on Interstate 65, which crosses vertically through the western side of the state.

Defense Department regulations prohibit the military from endorsing or appearing to endorse any "political candidate, campaign, or cause." Display of the large flag was also unauthorized under Navy regulations governing display of flags and pennants, Maxwell has said.

In March 2016, ahead of the presidential election, the Navy published guidance reminding troops of existing regulations governing political activity.

"Any activity that may be reasonably viewed as directly or indirectly associating with the DoD, or any component or personnel of the department, with a partisan political activity or is otherwise contrary to the spirit and intention of this policy guidance will be avoided," the guidance stated.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at@HopeSeck.

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