If Republicans get their way, there could soon be a lot of angry supporters of the social justice activism group Black Lives Matter.
That’s because according to the Washington Examiner, Republican lawmakers recently introduced a bill that would end the trendy, “woke” practice of flying Black Lives Matter flags — and other politically divisive flags — at U.S. embassies and American diplomatic posts around the world.
What’s the bill?
In May, the U.S. State Department, under President Joe Biden, stirred controversy after issuing a memo indicating that it was acceptable for U.S. embassies to fly a Black Lives Matter flag to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd, who was killed in 2020 during an encounter with police officers in Minnesota.
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), the Republican lawmaker spearheading the charge to end the practice, name it the Stars and Stripes Act of 2021. In a statement, she insisted that the American flag is the primary flag that should be flown at any American diplomatic outpost, and for good reason.
“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,” Malliotakis said.
The freshman lawmaker rounded up high-profile support in the form of co-authors of the bill, including Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Ken Buck (R-CO), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Brian Mast (R-FL), Pete Sessions (R-TX), and Michael Guest (R-MS).
In a statement of support for the bill, Guest asserted that America’s political divisions shouldn’t be on display around the world, saying “Our country’s resources should be used to highlight our unity, not our political divisions.”
LGBT flag at the Vatican
Black Lives Matter flags aren’t the only symbols of activism being flown at U.S. embassies around the world, as at the beginning of June, pictures were released of an LGBT flag that was prominently hung on the front of the U.S. embassy to the Vatican.
The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See celebrates #PrideMonth with the Pride flag on display during the month of June. The United States respects the dignity and equality of LGBTQI+ people. LGBTQI+ rights are human rights. pic.twitter.com/Xentlnr16E
— U.S. in Holy See (@USinHolySee) June 1, 2021
The image stirred immediate controversy among both conservatives and Catholics, with some, like Dinesh D’Souza, saying that hanging the LGBT flag at that particular embassy “is intended to offend devout Catholic sensibilities.” Some congressional Republicans also weighed in.
“Joe Biden claims to respect religious liberty, yet thinks it’s appropriate to display the pride flag at the Vatican. He claims to support law enforcement, yet has given permission for the divisive BLM flag to fly above our embassies, despite their desire to defund the police and their founding member’s calls for Israel to no longer exist,” said Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC).
While it’s unlikely that Malliotakis’ bill will pass with the current Democratic majority in the lower chamber as the primary obstacle, it’s not a stretch to presume that if Republicans win majority control of the House in the 2022 midterm elections, bills like these will have a higher chance at succeeding.