It has been reported that the Pentagon will keep a rule that doesn’t allow LGBTQ+ flags to be flown on military bases.
Back in 2020, the Trump administration banned military bases from flying the rainbow Pride flag alongside others including the Confederate flag.
John Kirby, the spokesperson for the Pentagon, released a statement regarding the decision on Friday (4 June).
“After some careful consideration, the department will maintain the existing policy from July of 2020 regarding the display of depiction of unofficial flags,” Kirby stated.
“So there won’t be an exception made this month for the Pride flag.”
Kirby went on to say that even though the Pentagon is adhering to the 2020 rule, it doesn’t reflect any “lack of respect” for the LGBTQ+ community.
“I would stress only two more things in answer to your question. One, this in no way reflects any lack of respect or admiration for people of the LGBTQ+ community, personnel in and out of uniform who serve in this department. We’re proud of them,” he said.
“This was really more about the potential for – an exception in this case about the potential challenges that could arise from that exception – that specific exception, and it was really about that than anything else.”
Currently, the only flags that are allowed to be flown are the US flag, military flags, state flags, the National League of Families POW/MIA flag and flags of allied countries.
The Pentagon’s decision comes nearly two months after the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, gave authorization for U.S. Embassies to fly Pride flags.
In the memo, Blinken gave the embassies the ok to fly the flag from 17 May and throughout June. The authorization aligned with International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia and Pride month.
According to the New York Times, the authorization to fly Pride flags is not a mandatory policy and each diplomat can “determine that such a display is appropriate in light of local conditions.”
In a statement to Insider, a spokesperson for the State Department elaborated on the inclusive policy, stating: “President Biden believes that America’s strength is found in its diversity. America is stronger, at home and around the world, when it is inclusive.”
They continued: “Recognizing that each country context is different, U.S. embassies and consulates develop individual plans to raise awareness of violence, human rights abuses, and discrimination targeting LGBTQI+ persons, including appropriate exterior displays.”