New Bill Bans Pride Flags At U.S. Embassies

In the massive appropriations package President Biden signed on March 23 was a provision barring US Embassies from flying any flag but the Stars and Stripes, CBS News reported.

The provision was one of many side items included in the $1.2 trillion appropriations package to fund the government through the end of September. The White House has already said that it would work to repeal the provision, claiming it was added to prevent Embassies from flying the LGBT Pride flag during June’s Pride Month.

In a March 23 statement, the White House said the president believed the House abused the process to prevent a government shutdown to target “LGBTQI+ Americans.” The White House said the president was “committed” to fighting for equality and successfully blocked “50+ other policy riders” in the appropriations package that it claimed House Republicans added to the measure to attack the “LGBTQI+ community.”

However, while the provision was added in response to the State Department displaying partisan flags like the Pride flag or Black Lives Matter flags, the provision does not single out the Pride flag.

Instead, it stipulates that no funding could be used to “fly or display” any flag other than the Stars and Stripes or other government-related flags. The provision allows for the display of flags supporting soldiers missing in action, prisoners of war, American hostages, or other wrongfully imprisoned US citizens overseas.

The White House argued that while other flags could not be flown “over” embassies, the provision did not say the flags could not be displayed elsewhere like on embassy grounds or inside embassy offices, therefore the provision would not prevent LGBT staffers who serve in US embassies from celebrating Pride month.

In a March 24 post on X, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre accused Republicans of abusing the process essential to funding the government to target “LGBTQI+ Americans.” She said the White House fought against the provision and would work with Congress to ensure it is repealed.