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Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a controversial freshman legislator, categorized Black Lives Matter banners as "hate America" flags and is looking to ensure they can't be hung at diplomatic and consular posts.Greene, who's facing calls for her removal from committees because of her alleged support for conspiracy theories and violence against Democrats, is co-sponsoring Representative Jeff Duncan's "Old Glory Only Act," which would bar any flag beside the American flag from being flown at U.S. embassies. As part of her promise to pursue an "America First" agenda, the Georgia Republican targeted the flying of the Black Lives Matter flag on government property, calling the organization a "radical Marxist group.""The domestic terrorists represented by that flag have burned down our cities with the mission of defunding our police," Greene said in a statement. "We should NOT be flying a flag of a group who wants to erase history and bring mass destruction to our country through Communism."In June, South Korea Ambassador Harry Harris, a Donald Trump nominee, hung a Black Lives Matter banner on the side of the U.S. Embassy in Seoul. In hanging it, the embassy wrote on Twitter, it stands "in solidarity with fellow Americans grieving and peacefully protesting to demand positive change.""Our #BlackLivesMatter banner shows our support for the fight against racial injustice and police brutality as we strive to be a more inclusive & just society," a tweet said.
A Black Lives Matter banner is displayed on the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, on June 14, 2020.
The banner was taken down days later, and the embassy clarified that Harris didn't intend to "support or encourage donations to any specific organization." A gay pride banner was also removed from the building.Duncan introduced the Old Glory Only Act multiple times, the most recent being on January 4. If passed, it would prohibit any flag other than the United States flag from being flown over U.S. diplomatic and consular posts."Our beautiful flag, Old Glory, is the single greatest symbol of freedom the world has ever known," Duncan said in a press release in January 2019. "It is an unmatched representation of liberty that is coveted around the globe, and it should be the only symbol that flies over our embassies in nations around the world."
Greene's announcement of her co-sponsorship of the legislation came on the first day of Black History Month, which has been celebrated in February since 1976. Asked about the timing of the announcement, Greene's office called it a "ridiculous assertation."Along with the Black Lives Matter flag, Greene attacked the flying of pride flags on government property. In 2019, multiple outlets reported the Trump administration had prohibited embassies from flying the pride flag on their flagpoles, although some put it up elsewhere on embassy grounds. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was confirmed on Tuesday, told legislators during a confirmation hearing that embassies would be allowed to fly the pride flag."The federal government should only be flying the flag that represents ALL people, the American flag," Greene said. "We need to bring back pride in our country and raise the Star-Spangled Banner proudly. Old Glory represents our great American military and their sacrifices to ensure our freedom. This isn't a political issue. This is about patriotism, and we need more of it.
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