Top State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said Secretary of State believes that only the American flag should be flown at U.S. embassies, after reports emerged last week that the Trump administration rejected requests from embassies around the world to fly the rainbow Pride flag.
“Pride Month, that we’re in right now, is celebrated around the world by many State Department employees, by many embassies,” Ortagus said in a Monday press briefing at the department. “The secretary has the position that, as it relates to the flag pole, that only the American flag should be flown there.”
The U.S. embassies in at least four countries — Israel, Germany, Brazil and Latvia — were denied the ability to fly the flag, NBC News reported Friday. The Washington Post reported that some U.S. diplomatic offices, including in Seoul, South Korea, and Chennai, India, were still displaying rainbow flags despite the policy.
Ortagus added that embassies are permitted to hang the rainbow Pride flag or display other Pride images without violating the State Department’s directive, but flag poles should be reserved for the U.S. flag.
She also told reporters that Pompeo “respects the dignity of every individual,” reflected in the Pride celebrations taking place in U.S. embassies.
“You can do a simple, easy Google or Twitter search and see the pictures of members of embassies and ambassadors, people of the foreign service celebrating Pride throughout the world,” Ortagus said.
When asked why Pompeo did not release a statement in honor of Pride Month or the International Day Against Transphobia and Homophobia, which was on May 17, Ortagus reaffirmed Pompao’s focus on “dignity.”
“He remains committed to this effort around the world,” Ortagus said.