A Republican brought a piece of legislation that would require only American flags to be flown at US embassies. The Biden administration wanted Pride and Black Lives Matter flags over these locations. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina introduced the Old Glory Only Act. The effort to fly a pride flag started with the Obama administration in 2014. There are some places in the world that you cannot fly a Pride flag.
Flags represent a nation
Rep. Duncan’s office said the bill “was originally introduced in response to a State Department official putting a rainbow flag up over a South American embassy in 2018.” Duncan put out a statement:
“Our beautiful flag, Old Glory, should be the only flag flying and representing our country over our diplomatic and consular posts worldwide. The American flag is a beacon of liberty, and no other flag or symbol better portrays our shared values than the Stars and Stripes. It is important to ensure that Old Glory only is flown at American embassies to represent our ideals abroad.”
It was very inappropriate for the US Embassy in the Vatican City to display the Pride flag June 2022 and it faced heavy criticism. Their Twitter account let the world know what they had done. “Today is the start of #Pride Month. The United States respects and promotes the equality and human dignity of all people including the LGBTQIA+ community.”
Today is the start of #Pride Month. The United States respects and promotes the equality and human dignity of all people including the LGBTQIA+ community. #PrideMonth #AllInclusive #Pride2022 pic.twitter.com/6VgN9R8c3J
— U.S. in Holy See (@USinHolySee) June 1, 2022
Flags elicit emotions
In some cases that can cause death. Pride flags shouldn’t be flown at a Catholic church in a Muslim nation. Same sex relationships are not allowed in some places.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken approved the BLM flag at all US embassies. May 2021 marked the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s death.
We raise this banner in honor of George Floyd, murdered one year ago today, in solidarity with people around the globe seeking a world without racial discrimination and a future with equal opportunity for all. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/cVIkfH5Yra
— U.S. Embassy Athens (@USEmbassyAthens) May 25, 2021
Flags commemorate events
At the time, the US Embassy in Greece tweeted out about the BLM flag, “We raise this banner in honor of George Floyd, murdered one year ago today, in solidarity with people around the globe seeking a world without racial discrimination and a future with equal opportunity for all.” Trump was the opposite, rejecting all requests for anything non-American.
May 17 is now the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. The Trump decision was reversed before that. The State Department said, “Posts should support efforts to repeal [criminalization] legislation, while ensuring that ‘do no harm’ remains our overarching principle so U.S. efforts do not inadvertently result in backlash or further marginalization of the LGBTQI+ community.”