March 25, 2024

Latest Spending Bill Helps Ban Pride Flags Over US Embassies

The White House has pledged to pursue the repeal of a newly enacted prohibition on most non-U.S. flags flying above American embassies.

The ban, which effectively restricted the display of LGBT pride flags over U.S. embassies, was incorporated into the $1.2 trillion spending bill President Joe Biden signed into law on Saturday.

"President Biden believes it was inappropriate to exploit the essential process to fund the government by including this policy targeting LGBTQI+ Americans," stated the White House.

"While it will not affect the LGBTQI+ community's ability to serve openly in our embassies or to commemorate pride, the administration opposed the inclusion of this policy and will work with members of Congress to identify an opportunity to overturn it," the statement continued.

During the Obama administration, some U.S. embassies showcased pride flags, a practice discontinued when Donald Trump assumed office. The Biden administration subsequently reinstated the policy after taking office.

The regulation is now enshrined in U.S. law due to a provision in the new spending bill. Biden indicates he fought against several similar measures that did not ultimately become law.

"We successfully defeated over 50 other policy riders targeting the LGBTQI+ community that Congressional Republicans attempted to insert into the legislation," the statement affirmed. "President Biden is committed to advocating for LGBTQI+ equality domestically and internationally."

The ban is not solely directed at LGBT flags and prohibits most flags other than the American flag from being displayed above U.S. embassies.

One interesting detail is that the new change does not preclude other flags from being exhibited elsewhere on embassy premises.

Flags permitted to be flown above U.S. embassies include the U.S. flag, the POW/MIA flag, the Hostage and Wrongful Detainee flag, state flags, Indian Tribal government flags, officially branded flags of U.S. agencies, and sovereign flags of other countries.

The latest effort shows one of many details being discovered in the more than 1,000-page bill that quickly moved through Congress to keep the government from a shutdown.


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