Marjorie Taylor Greene wants to ban Pride and Black Lives Matter flags at US embassies

Controversial representative insists only American flag should be flown

Louise Hall
Saturday 06 February 2021 00:07 GMT
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Ilhan Omar condemns Marjorie Taylor Greene remarks on House floor

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Controversial Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has co-sponsored a bill that would prevent US embassies from flying LGBT+ pride and Black Lives Matter flags.

Ms Greene, a freshman lawmaker, has been embroiled in controversy since her appointment to the House for her apparent past support of conspiracy theories and hateful social media rhetoric.

The representative has now backed the HR 85 Act, otherwise known as the Old Glory Only Act, which would prohibit the flying of any flag other than the US flag over their diplomatic and consular posts.

“The Secretary of State shall ensure that no United States diplomatic or consular post flies any flag other than the United States flag over such post,” the bill reads.

In a statement regarding the bill issued on Monday, Ms Greene said that “only the Stars and Stripes should fly over our embassies in foreign countries.”

“The federal government should only be flying the flag that represents ALL people, the American flag,” she said.

In her statement, Rep Greene directly targeted the decision of “rogue” members of the State Department to fly the Black Lives Matter flag, calling the racial justice movement a “radical Marxist group.”

While she did not specifically target the Pride flag, she wrongly claimed “president Biden's State Department has already raised a flag over our embassies that doesn't represent the vast majority of Americans.”

In January, Antony Blinken, President-elect Joe Biden's pick to lead the State Department, said that he plans to allow US embassies to fly the Pride flag, CNN reported.

“I think the United States playing the role that it should be playing in standing up for and defending the rights of LGBTQI people is something that the Department is going to take on and take on immediately,” he said, according to the broadcaster.

Ms Greene has not yet responded to The Independent’s request for clarification on the flag comment in her statement or further general comment.

A spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, one of the largest mainstream advocacy LGBT+ organisations in the US, told The Independent that The Glory Act "fails to uphold America’s value of embracing its diversity".

They said: "The LGBTQ Pride and the Black Lives Matter flags stand as powerful representations of unity and community for many who continue to fight for full equality, racial justice and collective liberation.

"US embassies and all consular posts should be allowed to fly their LGBTQ Pride and Black Lives Matter flags to demonstrate solidarity with communities who continue to advocate for a more just and equal America and world.”

The act has been introduced repeatedly since 2018 but has never advanced, NBC News reported.

During Pride month in 2019, the Trump administration denied requests from its American embassies to fly the rainbow Pride flag on their flagpoles, The Independent previously reported.

The new policy, which marked a dramatic shift from the Obama administration, said that express permission must be granted for the flag to be flown, and no requests were approved.

The Israeli, Latvian, and Brazilian US embassies all requested permission to fly the Pride flag from the State Department and were denied.

Rather, the embassies were told the rainbow flag can be hung elsewhere inside or on the exterior walls of the embassy.

Bloomberg reported in June last year that a large “Black Lives Matter” banner hung on the US Seoul embassy was removed after Donald Trump and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who is opposed to gay marriage, became aware of it.

A Pride banner had also been removed earlier in the same week and they were replaced with a banner commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Korean War, the outlet reported.

In her statement on Monday, Ms Greene insisted that “this isn’t a political issue. This is about Patriotism, and we need more of it".

The other seven Republican co-sponsors of the act include Matt Gaetz, Andy Biggs, Ronny Jackson, and Trent Kelly.

The sponsorship comes as Democrats and several Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to remove Ms Greene from her committee assignments over alleged violent social media posts against Democratic lawmakers.

Ms Greene said on Twitter on Friday that she woke up “laughing thinking about what a bunch of morons the Democrats (+11) are for giving some one like me free time.”

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