The Department of Defense confirmed that it will not allow the display of Pride flags at military installations this June.
The decision came after a reevaluation of existing policy put in place last year to ban the display of Confederate flag without specifically naming it.
Authorized flags include the American flag, flags representing US states and territories, prisoners of war and flags of US allies as well as a few others.
Defense officials had decided against making an exception for the Pride flag.
F35 instructor pilots in June 2020 at Luke Airforce Base. After a review, Pentagon officials said that displaying the Pride flag would not be allowed at Department of Defense facilities this year
The decision to ban the display of the Pride flag this year stems from a DoD policy dating to July 2020 by then Defense Secretary Mark Esper (pictured) that limited the types of flags authorized at military facilities to only a handful, including the American flag
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaking to reporters on Friday. He said the decision to not create an exception for the Pride flag stemmed from concerns that it could create the potential for ‘other challenges’ to arise
‘This 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,’ Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters Friday. ‘We’re proud of them.’
Kirby said there was concern for the potential that ‘other challenges’ could arise should an exception be made for one flag.
The Pentagon’s current flag policy dates to July 2020, when top military officials were challenged with coming up with a uniform policy banning display of the Confederate flag at military installations without drawing the ire of former President Donald Trump.
The current policy was put in place chiefly to ban the display of the Confederate flag at military installations without specifically naming it
In honor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, Naval Air Station Key West’s Sailors and civilians display a 100-foot section of the original Key West sea-to-sea Pride Flag in front of the main gate in June 2017
Airmen pose on the flightline after a Pride Month flyby June 26, 2020, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona
An early version of the Defense Department plan banned the display of the Confederate flag, saying the prohibition would preserve ‘the morale of our personnel, good order and discipline within the military ranks and unit cohesion.’
Instead, seeking a compromise, officials decided on creating a list of permitted flags without referencing which ones were not allowed.
Reaction on social media was mixed with some cheering the decision and others decrying it.
‘America. Yet again exhibiting homophobic tendencies,’ tweeted Brandon Gio.
‘And that’s fine,’ posted Jackie Roush. ‘No Trump flags or Confederate flags allowed either. Fair enough.’
‘Thank God,’ wrote Ryan Ciminski. ‘I don’t want our flag being tainted by the war crimes the DoD support abroad.’
‘Just fly the American flag and military flags at the bases,’ tweeted @hosierfan515
Reaction on social media was mixed, with some decrying the decision and others cheering it