CARLISLE, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano posed in a Confederate uniform for a faculty photo at the Army War College three years before retiring from the U.S. Army.

The photo, which Reuters said on Friday it obtained after a Freedom of Information Act request, shows Mastriano in uniform in a 2013-14 portrait for the Department of Military Strategy, Plans and Operations, where he worked until his retirement in 2017 . Reuters reported that faculty at the time were given the option to dress up as a historical figure, and while some did, only Mastriano is shown in Confederate uniform.

In a statement, the Army War College said a team in 2020 reviewed all artwork, text and images on display at Carlisle Barracks for consistency with Army values ​​and the college’s educational philosophy, but missed a photo of the faculty, which “has since been removed because it does not match the AWC values”.

Mastriano, a Pennsylvania senator, has peddled Donald Trump’s lies about widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election and has been a leading proponent in Pennsylvania of Trump’s bid to overturn the results. He was also in the crowd outside the US Capitol during the attack by Trump supporters on January 6, 2021, after attending a “Stop Theft” rally nearby.

Mastriano did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but did retweet a comment by Jenna Ellis, his campaign’s senior counsel, who said: “The media is ALLEGING that Mastriano apparently once posed for a photo as a Civil War historical figure. and? Has a PhD in history.

“The left wants to erase history. Doug Mastriano wants us to learn from this,” Ellis tweeted.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro accused Mastriano of wearing “the uniform of traitors who fought to protect slavery,” calling it “deeply offensive” and saying his opponent was “unfit to be governor.”

Mastriano served three decades in the Army, retiring as a colonel after serving in Europe, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Confederate flags, symbols and statues have increasingly divided the country in recent years, with critics calling them symbols of the struggle to preserve slavery and supporters calling them expressions of Southern pride and heritage.

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