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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Defense Department Upholds Ban against Flying Pride Flag on Military Bases

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People wave rainbow flags during the 2018 New York City Pride Parade (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

The Department of Defense (DOD) announced Monday that the pride flag will not be permitted to fly at its military installations, upholding a Trump-era order established last year.

The Pentagon’s decision differs from that of the State Department, which has encouraged embassies in allied nations to fly the pride flag. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Friday at a news conference that the DOD “will maintain the existing policy from July 2020 regarding the display or depiction of unofficial flags.” He told reporters that “there won’t be an exception made for the Pride flag.”

He added that the move “in no way reflects any lack of respect or admiration for people of the LGBTQ+ community, personnel in and out of uniform who serve in this department.”

“We’re proud of them,” he said.

Kirby commented that DOD will continue the ban in order to avoid challenges that could potentially come from making an exception to the policy. He said that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will join in Pride Month festivities at the Pentagon this week.

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