- A 2014 photo shows Pennsylvania Republican Doug Mastriano in a Confederate uniform.
- The photo was taken while the state senator was part of the faculty at the US Army War College.
- Faculty members were permitted to pose for the photo while dressed as an historical figure.
Pennsylvania Republican Doug Mastriano, a state senator and Trump-backed candidate for governor, posed for a photo donning a Confederate uniform while an instructor at the US Army War College in 2014, Reuters reported Friday evening.
Mastriano, a retired Army colonel and military historian, was posing for the photo with other faculty members, who were given the option of dressing in historical garb, Reuters reported. Only six of the 21 instructors did so. Mastriano left the Army in 2017.
Mastriano did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did a representative for his opponent, Josh Shapiro's campaign.
The Department of Defense effectively banned Confederate flags from US military bases in 2020 under updated guidance.
Mastriano in recent years has fashioned himself a Trump devotee, serving as the "point person" for the former president's campaign in its efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Pennsylvania. He has been a vocal 2020 election denier but had to be assured that his role in the plot was not "illegal," according to The New York Times.
The gubernatorial candidate continued to stoke controversy earlier this year when he faced criticism over his efforts to cultivate support on Gab, the social network founded by a self-described Christian nationalist.
Mastriano has since deleted his Gab account, but not before he paid the network $5,000 for consulting services, per campaign finance filings. The founder of Gab has repeatedly expressed contempt for Jews, who he says have no place in his right-wing movement.
Associating with Gab is a particularly sensitive issue in Pennsylvania. In 2018, a user of the website — who posted that he couldn't "sit by and watch" as Jewish groups assisted with the resettlement of refugees — gunned down 11 Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Mastriano's state senate district is also home to Gettysburg, the site of the bloodiest battle during the Civil War, Reuters noted, which the Union side won.