It’s Memorial Day weekend, and Black Lives Matter flags are being flown at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world, Breitbart reports.
The flags, in part, are being flown to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd, the Minneapolis man who died last summer during the process of being arrested.
It’s been authorized
According to a leaked memo, it was actually the U.S. State Department that authorized these Black Lives Matter flags to be flown at all U.S. diplomatic and consular posts. The authorization was made on May 25th and it appears that it will continue indefinitely.
“The Department supports the use of the term ‘Black Lives Matter’ in messaging content, speeches, and other diplomatic engagements with foreign audiences to advance racial equity and access to justice on May 25 and beyond,” the memo reads.
The State Department goes on to say that the memo “constitutes a blanket written authorization for calendar year 2021 from the Under Secretary for Management (M) to display the BLM flag on the external-facing flagpole to any Chiefs of Mission who determine such a display is appropriate in light of local conditions.” The department adds that “this is an authorization, not a requirement.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken voiced his support for this idea in a video that he posted on social media.
“For the United States to be a credible force for human rights around the world, we have to face the realities of racism and hatred here at home,” Blinken said. “We can’t sweep our shortcomings under the rug or pretend they don’t exist. We need to face them openly and honestly. Even if that’s ugly. Even if that’s painful.”
One Republican’s response
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) responded to the State Department’s authorization by introducing a bill that would bar U.S. embassies from flying flags with political messages.
“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,” Malliotakis said. “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 continued: “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.”
It, of course, is unlikely that Malliotakis’s bill will get anywhere.