Conservatives have long complained that large corporations have embraced a left-wing “woke” agenda. However, a news story from Texas suggests that trend may be changing.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Exxon Mobile has announced that it will ban any flag from the company’s corporate headquarters aside from its own.
Tracey Gunnlaugsson, vice president of human resources at Exxon, explained in a statement that the new rule is aimed at bringing clarity.
“The updated flag protocol is intended to clarify the use of the ExxonMobil branded company flag and not intended to diminish our commitment to diversity and support for employee resource groups,” Gunnlaugsson was quoted as saying.
“We’re committed to keeping an open, honest, and inclusive workplace for all of our employees, and we’re saddened that any employee would think otherwise,” she added.
Under Exxon’s new policy, the rainbow gay pride flag and Black Lives Matter flag are classified as “external position flags” and will no longer be permitted to fly outside the company’s headquarters.
However, Gunnlaugsson stressed that such flags are still permitted within the building and will continue to appear on the logos of employee resource groups.
“The flags are directly related to our business and company support of our ERGs, including PRIDE for LBGTQ+ employees,” she said.
Exxon’s decision comes a week after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill stripping the Walt Disney Company of its special business and tax privileges under Florida law.
The legislation was passed after Disney vocally opposed Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, a law that bans discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.
Policy changes bring pushback
The Chronicle noted that Exxon’s updated flag policy received pushback in an email from the company’s PRIDE Houston Chapter.
“It is difficult to reconcile how ExxonMobil recognizes the value of promoting our corporation as supportive of the LGBTQ+ community externally (e.g. advertisements, Pride parades, social media posts) but now believes it inappropriate to visibly show support for our LGBTQ+ employees at the workplace,” the email read.
“Flying a Pride flag is one small way many corporations choose to visibly show their care, inclusion and support for LGBTQ+ employees.”