Earlier this week Joe Biden authorized the State Department to fly both the Gay Pride flag and Black Lives Matter flag. The State Department has enthusiastically complied. The Department of Defense will not be joining them.
Given the cultures of the two organizations this is not a great surprise. The State Department thinks its brief is to represent the interests of foreign nations in American councils of power. That is incorrect. In fact, it is exactly the opposite. Its actual job is to represent American interests abroad. But it shuns that mission because it is not popular with the New York and Los Angeles set. Thus a symbol that appeals to pseudoelite bicoastal tastes would go over well there. The display of the Gay Pride flag at our Vatican embassy has been seen as a particular insult to Catholics.
The military is another question entirely. Though highly politicized under Biden, it is not so far gone as to tolerate that kind of ideological claptrap flying over Army posts, Navy and Air Force bases, and Marine bases.
My pride flag is up year round, except it’s only three colors: red, white, and blue.
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) June 3, 2021
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FNC: “The Defense Department will not allow the Pride flag to be flown at installations under its purview, unlike the State Department, spokesperson John Kirby said Friday. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in April reversed a Trump administration policy that rejected requests to display the pride flag in June, when Pride Month is celebrated. Under Blinken’s authorization, the flag could be displayed before May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, through the end of June. Blinken said diplomatic outposts are not required to fly the flag and that leaders have the ability to ‘determine that such a display is appropriate in light of local conditions.’ U.S. embassies were also authorized to fly Black Lives Matter (BLM) flags to commemorate the anniversary of George Floyd’s death.”
“We encourage posts to focus on the need to eliminate systemic racism and its continued impact,” a State Department memo read. The Department of Defense did not follow the lead of the State Department and will not allow the Gay Pride flag to be flown at military installations.
“After some careful consideration the department will maintain the existing policy regarding the display at military bases,” Kirby told press. “There won’t be an exception made for the Pride flag…This in no way reflects any lack of respect or admiration for the LGBTQ+ community,” Kirby continued. “This was really more about the potential … for other challenges that could arise from that exception.” And the fact that the Army and Marines would have ripped them down.