April 23, 2021 | 4:35pm | Updated April 23, 2021 | 4:35pmEnlarge Image
Secretary of State Tony Blinken has authorized US diplomatic missions to fly the LGBTQ pride flag at embassies and consulates. TASS via Getty Images; POOL/AFP via Getty Images (inset)
Secretary of State Tony Blinken has authorized US diplomatic missions to fly the LGBTQ pride flag on the same pole as the American flag at embassies and consulates, a department official confirmed to The Post Friday.
News of the authorization was first revealed by Foreign Policy magazine, which reported on a confidential cable sent by Blinken to diplomatic posts worldwide authorizing the policy change.
The nation’s top diplomat said in the cable that the flag, which is flown to symbolize support and pride for the LGBTQ community, will not be required to be added to the flagpole in front of each mission.
Instead, chiefs of mission will be given the ability to “determine that such a display is appropriate in light of local conditions,” Blinken said.
The move comes ahead of International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on May 17.
The move is yet another policy that President Biden is undoing of former President Trump’s administration.Pride flags can now be flown at the discretion of chiefs in charge of the diplomatic mission. TASS via Getty Images
In 2019, the department, then under the leadership of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, blocked embassies’ requests to fly the flag on the same pole as the American flag. US missions were permitted, however, to still brandish pride-related items elsewhere.
Asked about the move during an interview with NBC News, then-Vice President Mike Pence defended the administration’s policy as one that promotes a united American people.Blinken notified diplomatic posts worldwide of the change. POOL/AFP via Getty Images
“As the president said on the night we were elected, we’re proud to be able to serve every American. We both feel that way very passionately, but when it comes to the American flagpole, and American embassies, and capitals around the world, one American flag flies,” he explained.
Reached for comment by The Post, the State Department said in a statement, “President Biden believes that America’s strength is found in its diversity. America is stronger, at home and around the world, when it is inclusive.”The White House was lightened in the rainbow colors in support of the LGBTQ community on June 26, 2015. AFP via Getty Images
“Recognizing that each country context is different, U.S. embassies and consulates develop individual plans to raise awareness of violence, human rights abuses, and discrimination targeting LGBTQI+ persons, including appropriate exterior displays,” the statement continued.