Teen says he was turned away from Marines for Confederate flag tattoo

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Teen Says He Was Turned Away From Marines for Confederate Flag Tattoo

A recent high school graduate says he was turned away from the Marines because his Confederate flag tattoo made him ineligible.

"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 18-year-old told KARK.

Anthony Bauswell says he went to a recruiting center on Monday to enlist and when he told them about the tattoo, the recruiter said, "DQ, just automatically, DQ."

The Marine Corps' tattoo policy states in part tattoos can't be "sexist, racist, eccentric or offensive in nature." And Bauswell says that's why he got "southern pride" on the tattoo, saying he didn't want it to be seen as racist.

Click through images from the Confederate flag taken down in South Carolina:

23 PHOTOS
Confederate flag taken down in SC
See Gallery
Teen says he was turned away from Marines for Confederate flag tattoo
An honor guard from the South Carolina Highway patrol removes the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol grounds in Columbia, S.C., Friday, July 10, 2015, ending its 54-year presence there. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
People cheer as an honor guard from the South Carolina Highway patrol removes the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol grounds Friday, July 10, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. The Confederate flag was lowered from the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse to the cheers of thousands on Friday, ending its 54-year presence there and marking a stunning political reversal in a state where many thought the rebel banner would fly indefinitely. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
An honor guard from the South Carolina Highway patrol lowers the Confederate battle flag as it is removed from the Capitol grounds Friday, July 10, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. The Confederate flag was lowered from the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse to the cheers of thousands on Friday, ending its 54-year presence there and marking a stunning political reversal in a state where many thought the rebel banner would fly indefinitely. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
An honor guard member from the South Carolina Highway Patrol hands the Confederate battle flag that flew in front of the Statehouse to the curator of the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum after it was taken down Friday, July 10, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley hugs Rev. Norvel Goff, interim pastor at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, before an honor guard from the South Carolina Highway Patrol removed the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol grounds, Friday, July 10, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
COLUMBIA, SC - JULY 10: A crowd cheers after the Confederate 'Stars and Bars' flag was lowered from the South Carolina Statehouse grounds for the last time on July 10, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Republican Governor Nikki Haley presided over the event after signing historic legislation to remove the flag the day before. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
A woman waves a sign as she waits for the Confederate battle flag to be removed from in front of the South Carolina Statehouse, Friday, July 10, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill into law Thursday requiring the flag to be removed. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
COLUMBIA, SC - JULY 10: A girl watches from a crowd to see the Confederate 'Stars and Bars' flag lowered from the South Carolina Statehouse grounds for the last time on July 10, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Republican Governor Nikki Haley presided over the event after signing historic legislation to remove the flag the day before. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JULY 10: A crowd celebrates after a South Carolina honor guard lowers the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds for the last time on July 10, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Republican Governor Nikki Haley presided over the event after signing the historic legislation to remove the flag the day before. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
An honor guard from the South Carolina Highway patrol removes the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol grounds Friday, July 10, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
An honor guard from the South Carolina Highway patrol removes the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol grounds in Columbia, S.C., Friday, July 10, 2015, ending its 54-year presence there. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
COLUMBIA, SC - JULY 10: A crowd cheers as a South Carolina honor guard lowers the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds on July 10, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Republican Governor Nikki Haley presided over the event after signing the historic legislation to remove the flag the day before. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
An honor guard from the South Carolina Highway patrol removes the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol grounds Friday, July 10, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
An honor guard from the South Carolina Highway patrol removes the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol grounds Friday, July 10, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. The Confederate flag was lowered from the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse to the cheers of thousands on Friday, ending its 54-year presence there and marking a stunning political reversal in a state where many thought the rebel banner would fly indefinitely. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
COLUMBIA, SC - JULY 9: The Confederate battle flag flies on its last full day at the South Carolina state house July 9, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill removing the Confederate battle flag from the state house grounds on Thursday afternoon. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JULY 09: Confederate flag supporters stand outside the as 'Stars and Bars' flies in front of the South Carolina statehouse on its last evening on July 9, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds Friday morning. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JULY 09: People hold the American flag as the Confederate 'Stars and Bars' flies in front of the South Carolina statehouse on its last evening on July 9, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds Friday morning. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JULY 9: Supporters celebrate after South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signs a bill to remove the Confederate battle flag from the state house grounds July 9, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Debate on the flag was reignited three weeks ago after the mass murder at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signs a bill into law as former South Carolina governors and officials look on Thursday, July 9, 2015, at the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C. The law enables the removal of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds more than 50 years after the rebel banner was raised to protest the civil rights movement. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
COLUMBIA, SC - JULY 9: State Reps. John King (L) and Cezar McKnight celebrate after the House approved a senate bill to remove the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina capitol grounds July 9, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Lawmakers debated for more than 13 hours before approving the bill early Thursday morning. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JULY 9: South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signs a bill to remove the Confederate battle flag from the state house grounds July 9, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Debate on the flag was reignited three weeks ago after the mass murder at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Roger Rees attends the opening night of 'The Real Thing' on Broadway at American Airlines Theatre on October 30, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Interestingly enough, according to a CNN/ORC poll from July, 57 percent of Americans see the flag as a symbol of Southern pride and not racism. But when you split that same poll by race, 72 percent of blacks see it as racist compared to 25 percent of whites.

Tattoo policies in the military as a whole have been criticized, and the Marines altered its policy in April to cut limits on the size or number of tattoos allowed. A former Army chief of staff told the Marine Corps Times: "It makes sense. Soldiers have grown up in an era when tattoos are much more acceptable and we have to change along with that."

More changes seem to be on the way. Commandant Gen. Robert Neller says he "hopes" more updates to further clarify the Marine tattoo policy will be released in the next 30 days.

More from AOL.com:
Al-Jazeera correspondent missing in Yemen
Study: Widespread public exposure to ultrasound may be causing illnesses
Toddler dies after grandmother's gun goes off in bed: Police

Read Full Story

People are Reading