The Old Glory Only Act, introduced on Monday by South Carolina Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan, would make it illegal to fly any flag other than the American flag over U.S. embassies and consulates after Democratic President Joe Biden permitted the flying of other flags honoring the LGBTQ+ and Black Lives Matter movements.
Duncan stated in a news release announcing the launch of the measure in the House on Monday that “our lovely flag, Old Glory, should be the only flag flying and representing our country over our diplomatic and consular missions worldwide.”
He said no flag or emblem better captures our common values than the Stars and Stripes, representing America as a beacon of liberty. To symbolize our ideas abroad, it’s crucial to ensure that “Old Glory is exclusively flown at American embassies.”
The bill was one of ten that Duncan submitted in that chamber following the election of the new Republican majority, and it is the same one he tried to pass in 2021.
Before May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Secretary of State Antony Blinken approved American embassies to raise LGBT pride flags in April 2021 and to keep doing so until the end of the month, according to a story from the New York Times at the time.
A few days later, another cable approved flying Black Lives Matter flags at locations worldwide beginning in May 2021, according to a story in Foreign Policy.
The article claims that at the time, the State Department sent a cable to the chiefs of missions, who oversee the facilities, granting them “blanket written consent” to fly the flags if it was “acceptable in light of local conditions” and was an “authorization, not a demand.”
A diplomat said the action was “a positive signal and a historic step in the right direction.”