New legislation introduced by the GOP in the first week of the new year will prohibit flags other than Old Glory from being flown over U.S. embassies after the Black Lives Matter and pride flags were permitted under the Biden administration, according to Fox News.
The Old Glory Act, H.R. 85., sponsored by South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan, was first introduced in January 2021 before dying last referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on January 4, 2021. A congressional aide reportedly asserted that there is no discussion over the bill but that Republicans are now optimistic to hold a vote.
After reintroducing the legislation as H.R. 146 to the 118th Congress, Duncan said that the legislation is pushing back on the politicization of U.S. embassies.
“Our beautiful flag, Old Glory, should be the only flag flying and representing our country over our diplomatic and consular posts worldwide,” Duncan reportedly stated in a press release. “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,” he continued.
Democratic support for flying the pride flag reportedly began during in 2014 under the Obama administration. U.S. embassies in Russia, Spain, Sweden and South Korea have since flown the flag. The Black Lives Matter flag has also flown in Brazil, Greece, Spain, Bosnia, Cambodia and South Korea, according to Duncan’s office.
Citizens of Jamaica were reportedly angered by the president’s decision to allow pride flags at the U.S. embassy.
“Flying the rainbow flag…is like putting up a Ku Klux Klan flag and telling us that we can’t do anything about it because it is not located on Jamaican soil,” one citizen said. “The US State Department does not dishonor Islamic countries or European countries who don’t support the LGBTQ agenda.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo banned embassies from flying pride flags in 2019, but the decision was again reversed under Biden. In April 2021, Secretary of State Atony Blinken authorized the flying of pride flags just before May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
A month later, Biden authorized Black Lives Matter flags to be flown for the anniversary of George Floyd’s death. A leaked memo from the State Department reportedly stated it supported the term and said it authorizes officials to “display the BLM flag on the external-facing flagpole to any Chiefs of Mission who determine such a display is appropriate in light of local conditions.”