WASHINGTON - A Congressional panel has recommended the review of a plaque honoring the Klu Klux Klan from the prestigious United States Military Academy at West Point - but stopped short of ordering its removal.

The Naming Commission tasked with reviewing Confederate-associated links to US military bases released a report on Monday recommending the renaming of multiple areas of West Point carrying the name of Robert E Lee, including a building, road and gate.

However, the panel said it could not directly call for the removal of a plaque paying homage to the KKK at the entrance of the academy’s Bartlett Hall Science Center because it “falls outside the remit of the Commission”, which has been tasked with removing Confederate and Civil War related symbols and names.

The bronze plaque features a man in a hood and cape carrying a rifle above the notorious hate group’s name.

The report acknowledged that there are “clearly ties in the KKK to the Confederacy”, and called on the Secretary of Defense to address the matter with a “standard disposition requirement for such assets.”

As Politico reported on Tuesday, the military academy is not the only US military base to see renaming recommendations in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, when the Naming Commission was set up.

At a US Navy base in Maryland, the panel said a building named after Confederate navy leader Buchanan House should be renamed as well as an engineering building named in honour of Confederate naval officer Matthew Maury.

A final report is expected in October and will be delivered to Congress with proposals to remove Confederate associations from US military bases not mentioned in the previous two reports.

“The Commissioners do not make these recommendations with any intention of ‘erasing history,” the latest report stated. “The facts of the past remain and the commissioners are confident the history of the Civil War will continue to be taught at all service academies with all the quality and complex detail our national past deserves.

“Rather, they make these recommendations to affirm West Point’s long tradition of educating future generations of America’s military leaders to represent the best of our national ideals,” it added.