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Bill to prohibit politically motivated flags from flying over U.S. embassies introduced in Congress

Image courtesy of the U.S. Embassy London

Image: U.S. Embassy London

Congressman Michael Guest cosponsored the Stars and Stripes Act of 2021, legislation to ensure that only American flags, host nation flags, U.S. state flags, federal entity flags, armed forces flags, and POW/MIA flags are flown on United States of America embassy grounds.

The legislation was introduced by New York Representative Nicole Malliotakis after Secretary of State Antony Blinken “strongly encouraged” foreign embassies to use department resources to fly Black Lives Matter (BLM) flags on the one-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd.

“The death of George Floyd opened important discussions surrounding police reform in the United States. However, using United States resources to display a non-governmental  flag over United States embassies is not permissible. I encourage all Americans to exercise their First Amendment right to free speech and to continue civil dialogue around this matter. However, these discussions should not be aired out on an international stage. Our country’s resources should be used to highlight our unity, not our political divisions,” Guest 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,” said Congresswoman Malliotakis. “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.”

The legislation was also cosponsored by House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik of New York, Congressmen Ken Buck of Colorado, Darrell Issa of California, Brian Mast of Florida, and Pete Sessions of Texas.

“Our beautiful American flag should fly over our U.S. embassies around the world – not the flag of a political organization founded by Marxists,” said House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik.”I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation introduced by my colleague and friend Congresswoman Malliotakis.”

“The White House may think the American flag is just another banner to be displayed or replaced in foreign capitals when the mood strikes,” said Congressman Issa. “But this is more than untrue. It’s an emphatic misunderstanding of what this nation represents in every corner of the globe. And it fails to appreciate how our country’s symbols have sustained the hopes of the world in the darkest of hours. This legislation may be necessary, but even more important is for the Biden Administration to take stock of America’s exceptionalism.”

“The American flag is a physical representation of our nation’s history and intrinsic principles,” said Congressman Sessions. “It is a symbol of hope and opportunity. The only flag that should characterize the United States of America at our embassies overseas is Old Glory. Political flags have no place in exemplifying our nation abroad.”

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