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House Republicans Introduce ‘Stars and Stripes’ Bill to Ban Flying ‘Political,’ BLM Flags at U.S. Embassies

U.S. and European Union flags at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. (Francois Lenoir/Reuters)

Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (R., N.Y.) has proposed new legislation that would ban Black Lives Matter (BLM) and “political” flags from flying at United States embassies around the globe.

This new bill, the Stars and Stripes Act, was co-sponsored by Representatives Ken Buck of Colorado, Michael Guest of Mississippi, Darrell Issa of California, Brian Mast of Florida, Pete Sessions of Texas, and new House GOP Conference chair Elise Stefanik of New York.

“It is inappropriate for President Biden and Secretary Blinken to authorize and encourage the display of inherently political flags that are in no way affiliated with the U.S. Government over American embassies overseas,” Malliotakis said in a statement.

Malliotakis’s website indicated that the GOP coalition launched this effort in response to Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s authorizing the display of the BLM flag at U.S. embassies and other diplomatic outposts. The secretary encouraged flying the BLM banner to commemorate the anniversary of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, and to signal American commitment to promoting social justice domestically and internationally and ending systemic racism.

“On the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, we remember that to be a credible force for human rights around the world, we must face the reality of racism at home. By addressing our shortcomings openly and honestly, we live up to the values that we stand for worldwide,” Blinken tweeted last week.

In justifying her bill, Malliotakis argued that, rather than the BLM movement’s emblem, the U.S. flag is a better symbol of equality and liberty for every marginalized group around the world.

“The American flag is a beacon of freedom and hope for oppressed peoples around the world; it should be the primary flag flown above our embassies and that is what my legislation seeks to accomplish,” the freshman congresswoman added.

Malliotakis also believed that supplanting the American flag with the BLM flag was disrespectful to fallen U.S. soldiers who died fighting for their country and its values.

“The Administration’s directive is an insult to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our flag and our nation — especially as we head into Memorial Day weekend — and it is absolutely ridiculous that legislation is needed to correct this issue,” the Staten Island lawmaker wrote.

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