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Thread: One country, one flag

  1. #1
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    One country, one flag



    (Flags at the Austrian Embassy in May)

    Trump admin tells U.S. embassies they can't fly pride flag on flagpoles
    The Trump administration is rejecting requests from U.S. embassies to fly the rainbow pride flag on embassy flagpoles during June, LGBTQ Pride Month, three American diplomats told NBC News.
    Although the pride flag can and is being flown elsewhere on embassy grounds, including inside embassies and on exterior walls, the decision not to allow it on the official flagpole stands in contrast to President Donald Trump's claim to be a leader in supporting LGBTQ rights overseas. Trump's administration has announced a campaign to decriminalize homosexuality overseas and this month issued a tweet and formal statement to "celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made."
    I think the "contrast" is a false one.

    During the Obama administration, the government granted blanket permission to embassies overseas to fly the pride flag during June. This year, U.S. diplomats said, embassies were told they can display the pride flag in other places, including inside embassies, but that requests to fly it on the flagpole must be specifically approved. No approvals have been granted.
    And this policy will assuredly be reversed with great fanfare by the next Democratic administration, if there is one. But I think there's a reasonable point made here, that deserves consideration aside from identity politics, and that is, the American flag should stand alone on the pole as a unifying symbol, not as a promotion of special interests.

    It would be fair at a minimum, to expect this administration to be consistent, and not allow other special interest flags such as the POW flag, to share the country's flagpole.


    How about a "Right-to-Life" flag of some sort? It is, after all, the first and sine qua non of our "inalienable rights."

    I'm OK with this, as long as it is consistent. I've long been grumpy about various abuses of the flag on the pole, not talking here about childish crap like this famous photo of Bill Ayers:


    I don't like seeing the flag left unlit through the night, drooping in a downpour, or lowered to half staff because someone on the building staff lost a close relative. I don't like seeing it lowered to the ground, then scooped up and taken in.

    And I don't particularly like it used to get around billboard size limits, to advertise car dealerships or such; or to sport corporate flags underneath, like a McDonald's flag.

    PRIDE flags are different because , like the POW/MIA flag, it's a virtuous cause backed by important activists. But asserting the idea of the U.S. flag raised alone (and never lower than other flags on other poles) doesn't equal homophobia, as NBC suggests.

    Per this article in The Hill,

    Some US embassies fly rainbow flag despite rejected requests from Trump admin
    Several U.S. embassies and diplomatic missions around the world are hoisting rainbow flags in honor of Pride Month, despite a slate of rejections from the Trump administration of requests to fly the flag.

    The Washington Post reported Saturday that diplomatic missions in Seoul and Chennai, India sent out a press release and a video advertising the flag hanging outside their respective buildings, while the U.S. embassy in New Delhi updated its Twitter cover photo showing a rainbow projected on it.

    The embassy in Santiago, Chile shows a video on its website of a diplomat flying a rainbow flag last month for the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia and the website for the Vienna embassy features a photo of the same flag.

    Several ambassadors and diplomats have also been seen participating in Pride festivities, whether going to parades or celebrating at their embassies.
    NONE of the examples hyperlinked here show a "defiance" of the new directive, including the Austrian Embassy flag shown at the beginning of this post. It was taken in May, before this new directive. Typical is this one, cited by The Hill, of the diplomatic mission in Chennai, India:



    To tell the truth, The Hill headline is just a lie, which is terribly disappointing for an outlet I use regularly. Shame on the writer, Tal Axelrod. The NBC report (and others) is simply slanted, but that's typical and unsurprising. NBC at least includes the details that The Hill did not.
    "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." —CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.

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    Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) has introduced a bill seemingly intended to put a stop to all such requests.

    The Secretary of State shall ensure that no United States diplomatic or consular post flies any flag other than the United States flag over such post.
    New GOP Bill Would Ban Flying of Pride Flag at U.S. Embassies

    ...

    Ian Thompson, legislative director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said based on the title of the legislation, the measure seems aimed at barring U.S. embassies from flying Pride flags.

    “I don’t believe it is specific to rainbow/Pride flags, but that is clearly the motivation for this ridiculous, petty bill,” Thompson said. “It is telling that many of the most doggedly anti-LGBTQ members of the House of Representatives are co-sponsors.”

    The bill has 33 co-sponsors, many of whom with notoriously anti-LGBT records, including Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Steve King (R-Iowa), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas).

    Priebus recalled that McGahn said that the President had asked him to "do crazy shit," but he thought McGahn did not tell him the specifics of the President's request because McGahn was trying to protect Priebus from what he did not need to know.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norm dePlume View Post
    Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) has introduced a bill seemingly intended to put a stop to all such requests.
    His bill is a lot broader than the present directive, and poisoned by the snarky language here.

    The site you cite gives it a 2% likelihood of passage, and they'e probably being generous.

    This one belongs in the round file like John Anderson's old bill that would have designated America a "Christian Nation."
    "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." —CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.

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    This should be obvious to anyone who isn't running on emotion. Right now we have Black February, Asian May, Gay June, and Latino September. Presumably no leftist would object to these flags being flown at US embassies abroad. Surely it's reasonable to believe that there will soon be a month each for disabled Americans, Arab Americans, Hindu Americans, and each tribe of the 573 American INdian nations.
    I'm thinking that once, in 1953, a group of interesting people just happened to be in a coffee shop at the same time and a great discussion of issues, ideas, and the meaning of life occurred. Since then we have been waiting at Starbucks for Lawrence Ferlinghetti to say something heavy.

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    US embassies exist to carry on the nation's business abroad, to assist US citizens abroad, and to represent the US as a country. I have no issue with limiting the embassy flagpoles to flying the US flag, as long as it's a flat ban on all other flags. In fact, I support it.

    I do not, as some do, believe that celebrating all the component parts of our society and country is divisive. From school pride (something many places have lost, to their detriment) to state pride, regional pride, ethnic pride, gay pride, geek pride, rodeo pride, sports-team pride, you name it, things that bring people together and engender community are fine things to celebrate.

    I do deplore making such bonding opportunities a cause for exclusion. Straight people are and should be welcome at gay pride. Everybody's Irish on St Paddy's. I'm not going to refrain from buying and wearing Native clothing or jewelry sold at pow-wow or whenever I get up to visit Jim and Joyce. It's not "cultural appropriation" for Nova to wear his favorite dashiki or HRH and I to attend a Mexican-American festival or shop in the Mission (and I've never been made to feel it was). You can bet the rent that nobody is going to tell you you can't attend the SF Chinese/Lunar New Year Parade and festival because you're not Asian. We were always welcomed at the menorah lighting in downtown St Pete (sponsored by Chabad, no lefty advocate of cultural diversity), and nobody checks your Christian card at St Pete's fabulous Christmas parade. Everyone does Oktoberfest. The Columbus Day events at the Italian-American Hall were legendary and open to all.

    All those communities and more make up the USA. We can and should celebrate that within our borders and within the walls of our embassies and consulates abroad. And on the flagpole outside those diplomatic missions, we should represent ourselves as "from many, one." That means flying the US flag.
    No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. This offer VALID in 35 34 33 32 31 26 20 17 15 14 13 ALL 50 states.

    The new 13 original states to stand up for freedom: CA, CT, IA, MA, DE, MN, NH, NY, RI, VT, ME, MD, NJ (plus DC).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Celeste Chalfonte View Post
    US embassies exist to carry on the nation's business abroad, to assist US citizens abroad, and to represent the US as a country. I have no issue with limiting the embassy flagpoles to flying the US flag, as long as it's a flat ban on all other flags. In fact, I support it.

    I do not, as some do, believe that celebrating all the component parts of our society and country is divisive. From school pride (something many places have lost, to their detriment) to state pride, regional pride, ethnic pride, gay pride, geek pride, rodeo pride, sports-team pride, you name it, things that bring people together and engender community are fine things to celebrate.

    I do deplore making such bonding opportunities a cause for exclusion. Straight people are and should be welcome at gay pride. Everybody's Irish on St Paddy's. I'm not going to refrain from buying and wearing Native clothing or jewelry sold at pow-wow or whenever I get up to visit Jim and Joyce. It's not "cultural appropriation" for Nova to wear his favorite dashiki or HRH and I to attend a Mexican-American festival or shop in the Mission (and I've never been made to feel it was). You can bet the rent that nobody is going to tell you you can't attend the SF Chinese/Lunar New Year Parade and festival because you're not Asian. We were always welcomed at the menorah lighting in downtown St Pete (sponsored by Chabad, no lefty advocate of cultural diversity), and nobody checks your Christian card at St Pete's fabulous Christmas parade. Everyone does Oktoberfest. The Columbus Day events at the Italian-American Hall were legendary and open to all.

    All those communities and more make up the USA. We can and should celebrate that within our borders and within the walls of our embassies and consulates abroad. And on the flagpole outside those diplomatic missions, we should represent ourselves as "from many, one." That means flying the US flag.
    And that's why you are my favorite aunt.
    I'm thinking that once, in 1953, a group of interesting people just happened to be in a coffee shop at the same time and a great discussion of issues, ideas, and the meaning of life occurred. Since then we have been waiting at Starbucks for Lawrence Ferlinghetti to say something heavy.

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celeste Chalfonte View Post
    US embassies exist to carry on the nation's business abroad, to assist US citizens abroad, and to represent the US as a country. I have no issue with limiting the embassy flagpoles to flying the US flag, as long as it's a flat ban on all other flags. [] In fact, I support it.

    I do not, as some do, believe that celebrating all the component parts of our society and country is divisive. From school pride (something many places have lost, to their detriment) to state pride, regional pride, ethnic pride, gay pride, geek pride, rodeo pride, sports-team pride, you name it, things that bring people together and engender community are fine things to celebrate.

    I do deplore making such bonding opportunities a cause for exclusion. Straight people are and should be welcome at gay pride. Everybody's Irish on St Paddy's. I'm not going to refrain from buying and wearing Native clothing or jewelry sold at pow-wow or whenever I get up to visit Jim and Joyce. It's not "cultural appropriation" for Nova to wear his favorite dashiki or HRH and I to attend a Mexican-American festival or shop in the Mission (and I've never been made to feel it was). You can bet the rent that nobody is going to tell you you can't attend the SF Chinese/Lunar New Year Parade and festival because you're not Asian. We were always welcomed at the menorah lighting in downtown St Pete (sponsored by Chabad, no lefty advocate of cultural diversity), and nobody checks your Christian card at St Pete's fabulous Christmas parade. Everyone does Oktoberfest. The Columbus Day events at the Italian-American Hall were legendary and open to all.

    All those communities and more make up the USA. We can and should celebrate that within our borders and within the walls of our embassies and consulates abroad. And on the flagpole outside those diplomatic missions, we should represent ourselves as "from many, one." That means flying the US flag.
    I agree, but it's fraying around the edges these days.

    Of course, in the bad old days, e pluribus unum wasn't exactly meant to be taken literally when it came to select minorities. But now, never having learned moderation, we have a lot of demands for various segregated places and activities, and corresponding condemnations of offenses real and imagined (or faked).

    My favorite of the day, June 9, 2019, is a slam against Dictionary .com, a site owned by as liberal a person as there is.

    Women of color call out Dictionary.com's 'offensive' definition of 'black': 'This needs to change'

    It's hard to keep up, but maybe if I use white nobody will be offended.

    But I do remember in the mid-1970s writing an editorial for a community newsletter on Manhattan's Upper West Side celebrating local diversity, in sort of a Louis Armstrong "Wonderful World" kind of mood. I shouldn't say there were no demands for separatism then—there certainly were. We had lived through the Black Panther era for one thing, and even Stonewall Inn wasn't ancient history.

    It wasn't the same. It's French, maybe. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
    "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." —CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Novaheart View Post
    And that's why you are my favorite aunt.
    I remind you I have a key and you have to sleep.
    No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. This offer VALID in 35 34 33 32 31 26 20 17 15 14 13 ALL 50 states.

    The new 13 original states to stand up for freedom: CA, CT, IA, MA, DE, MN, NH, NY, RI, VT, ME, MD, NJ (plus DC).

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    My impression is that this issue came up because ambassadors wanted to show support for Pride marches in the countries in which they are stationed. It's not a matter of U.S. activists pushing to export their activism.

    Priebus recalled that McGahn said that the President had asked him to "do crazy shit," but he thought McGahn did not tell him the specifics of the President's request because McGahn was trying to protect Priebus from what he did not need to know.

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norm dePlume View Post
    My impression is that this issue came up because ambassadors wanted to show support for Pride marches in the countries in which they are stationed. It's not a matter of U.S. activists pushing to export their activism.
    Nobody said it wasn't a positive or generous impulse. It just wasn't well thought out. And the government's decision is not per se anti-gay or even unsympathetic. It's certainly not discrimination, unless it can be shown that the rainbow flag is treated differently than other non-national flags.
    No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. This offer VALID in 35 34 33 32 31 26 20 17 15 14 13 ALL 50 states.

    The new 13 original states to stand up for freedom: CA, CT, IA, MA, DE, MN, NH, NY, RI, VT, ME, MD, NJ (plus DC).

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