An Arkansas teen was rejected from the Marines because he had a Confederate flag tattoo on his ribs.A recruiter told 18-year-old Anthony Bauswell said a recruiter told him he was disqualified due to the tattoo.
WREG 3 reports that the teen’s Confederate flag image was captioned with the words, “Southern Pride.”
The Marine Corp tattoo policy bans tattoos that are “sexist, racist, vulgar, anti-American, anti-social, gang related, or extremest group or organization related.”
It’s noted in the report that the size and placement of tattoos regulated by the Marines doesn’t state that the rib area is part of that policy.
Bauswell said he understands that the Confederate flag is controversial.
“I definitely don’t want it to be seen as racism, which is 99% of the reason I got southern pride on it,” said Bauswell. “I kind of felt like I had a plan for my life, and now that I can’t go, I am not sure where I stand.”
The Marine’s tattoo policy is expected to be updated in the next 30 days.
Anthony Bauswell from Greenbrier has dreamed of joining the Marines, but those goals are now being derailed over the tattoo.
Local Mephis reports that Bauswell is like most country boys in that he likes to hunt, fish, and spend time outdoors. He expresses pride in how he was raised by sporting tattoos that reflect that.
— WTOC Don Logana (@wtocdonlogana) January 26, 2016
When the 18-year-old went into the Conway Marine recruiting center Monday to enlist, the process stopped when he revealed his “Southern Pride” tattoo.
“As soon as I said Rebel flag on my ribs, he says DQ, just automatically, DQ,” said Bauswell.
Bauswell described the experience as making him feel “pretty low” because his own government “wasn’t going to let me serve my country because of the ink on my skin.”
According to the report, the Marine Corps has a tattoo poster seen on some websites with the slogan, “Think before you ink.”
The teen who was turned away by the Marines because of his Confederate flag tattoo hopes he’ll be considered for pride he has in wanting to serve his county and not the ink on his body.