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Republicans want to ban rainbow flags flying at US embassies

Written by gaytourism

Rainbow and American flags at the US embassy in Jamaica | Photo: Flickr/IIP Photo Archive

Republicans introduced a bill banning any flag or emblem from flying at United States embassies other than the American flag. This includes flags like the rainbow one for pride.

Rep. Jeff Duncan of the House Republicans led the introduction of the bill.

He introduced the Old Glory Only Act on Thursday (19 July) and by Friday, 26 other Republicans signed on to it.

While the bill bans all flags and emblems, not just the rainbow flag, it does come after various embassies raising the rainbow as a sign of LGBTI solidarity.

The US embassy of Belize flew the rainbow flag just last month to honor Pride Month. In 2016, the US embassy of Jamaica flew the flag following the Pulse nightclub shooting.

‘The United States flag is the single greatest symbol of freedom the world has ever known,’ Duncan told the Washington Examiner.

‘There’s no reason for anything but Old Glory to be flying over our embassies and posts around the globe.’

History of this important flag

The late Gilbert Baker created the rainbow flag as a symbol for the LGBTI community.

As Baker wrote in his upcoming memoir, before the rainbow flag, the symbol of the community was the pink triangle. This image, however, had a dark history in its association with World War II and the Holocaust. Nazis made gay men in concentration camps wear pink triangles to label them.

‘I thought of the American flag with its thirteen stripes and thirteen stars, the colonies breaking away from England to form the United States,’ he wrote.

‘I thought of the vertical red, white, and blue tricolor from the French Revolution and how both flags owed their beginnings to a riot, a rebellion, or revolution,’ before continuing, ‘I thought a gay nation should have a flag too, to proclaim its own idea of power.’

Flying it provides specific connotations and support for the community.

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