Republican bill aims to restore Trump’s pathetic ban on Pride flags flying at US embassies
A new Republican-backed bill aims to restore Trump’s ban on Pride flags at US embassies, as well as Black Lives Matter and any other “political” flags.
The genuinely-named Stars and Stripes Act of 2021 proposes a blanket ban on any flags other than the star-spangled one at US diplomatic and consular posts around the world.
It was introduced by representative Nicole Malliotakis on Friday (28 May) after the state department flew BLM flags at embassies on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder.
According to Malliotakis, who’s taken a stand against the push to defund the police, the BLM symbol is an “insult to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our flag and our nation”.
“It is inappropriate for president Biden and secretary Blinken to authorise and encourage the display of inherently political flags that are in no way affiliated with the US government over American embassies overseas,” she said in a statement.
“The American flag is a beacon of freedom and hope for oppressed peoples around the world; it should be the primary flag flown above our embassies and that is what my legislation seeks to accomplish.
“The administration’s directive is an insult to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our flag and our nation – especially as we head into Memorial Day weekend – and it is absolutely ridiculous that legislation is needed to correct this issue,” she added.
The matter of “political” flags at embassies has been a sore spot for Republicans since April, when the Biden-Harris administration gave approval for the Pride flag to be displayed on the same pole as the US one.
In doing so they overturned a reviled Trump-era ban which expressly forbid consulates from flying the rainbow flag. The happy news predictably sent Republicans into a tailspin, with evangelical hate preacher Franklin Graham urging his followers to pray for America.
Republican congressman Darrell Issa was every bit as melodramatic as he called on fellow lawmakers to support the Stars and Stripes Act.
“The White House may think the American flag is just another banner to be displayed or replaced in foreign capitals when the mood strikes, but this is more than untrue,” he said.
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“It’s an emphatic misunderstanding of what this nation represents in every corner of the globe. And it fails to appreciate how our country’s symbols have sustained the hopes of the world in the darkest of hours.”
Fortunately it looks like the flags are safe for now, as Malliotakis’ bill has little chance of passing in the Democrat-controlled House or becoming law.