After BLM flags fly over embassies, GOP files bill to prohibit political banners over diplomatic posts

In what was a clear engagement in partisan politics, the State Department last week authorized U.S. embassies and consulates around the globe to fly the Black Lives Matter flag to mark the one-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd in police custody.

In response to that display of partisanship, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) introduced a bill to prohibit the display of inherently political messaging at U.S. diplomatic posts and limit which sorts of flags could be flown, Breitbart reported.

BLM flag

May 25 marked one year since Floyd died after being taken into custody by Minneapolis, Minnesota police, including now-convicted former officer Derek Chauvin.

In a departmental cable obtained by Foreign Policy, President Joe Biden’s Secretary of State Anthony Blinken authorized, but did not require, all U.S. embassies and consular posts around the world to fly the BLM banner in honor of Floyd’s death, which had sparked nationwide anti-police protests often marred with violent and destructive riots.

A State Department spokesperson confirmed the authorization to the outlet and said, “The United States remains concerned about the racial and ethnic injustices against people of color and other marginalized communities both domestically and abroad. We encourage our missions around the world to focus on eliminating systemic racism and its global impact.”

“Inherently political flags”

That authorization of BLM flags over diplomatic posts worldwide did not sit well with Republican lawmakers who understand the highly divisive nature and partisan messaging inherent in the flying of the Marxist-inspired BLM flag, and Rep. Malliotakis wasted no time in trying to ensure that such a political stunt isn’t repeated in the future.

In a press release announcing the filing of a bill titled the “Stars and Stripes Act of 2021,” the congresswoman said, “It is inappropriate for President Biden and Secretary Blinken to authorize and encourage the display of inherently political flags that are in no way affiliated with the U.S. Government over American embassies overseas.”

“The American flag is a beacon of freedom and hope for oppressed peoples around the world; it should be the primary flag flown above our embassies and that is what my legislation seeks to accomplish,” she added. “The Administration’s directive is an insult to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our flag and our nation — especially as we head into Memorial Day weekend — and it is absolutely ridiculous that legislation is needed to correct this issue.”

Her press release went on to provide a sampling of partisan political positions and demands of BLM that were pulled directly from the group’s website as evidence that it was not a neutral and nonpartisan organization worthy of being highlighted by the U.S. government around the globe.

Limiting which flags can be flown

In a tweet posted Friday in conjunction with her statement, Malliotakis included the text of the bill she had filed with the intention to “reverse @SecBlinken’s directive allowing political & non-government flags to fly above embassies.”

According to her bill, the only banners and flags that would be permitted to fly above U.S. diplomatic facilities worldwide would include the American flag; the flag of the foreign host nation or U.S. host state, territory, or possession; a departmental or secretarial flag; an Armed Force’s flag; or the flag honoring U.S. service members taken as prisoners of war or missing in action, the POW-MIA flag.

The congresswoman was joined in introducing the Stars and Stripes Act of 2021 by co-sponsor Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Ken Buck (R-CO), Michael Guest (R-MS), Darrel Issa (R-CA), Brian Mast (R-FL), and Pete Sessions (R-TX).

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