Image credit: US Embassy India Twitter (@USAndIndia)
The Trump administration may have prohibited the flying of Pride flags from embassy flagpoles, but a number of embassies are finding ways around this particular order.
As reported by The Washington Post, the rainbow flag continues to be displayed publicly in locations like Nepal, India, and South Korea. While the displays are not in direct violation of the State Department order, the embassies have ensured that the rainbow flags are very prominent, sometimes even more so than the American flag.
For instance, the embassy in Seoul, South Korea has a substantially larger rainbow flag on display at the same height as the American flag. The embassy in Chennai, India also catches attention as it drapes down three stories of the embassy building.
Meanwhile, the embassy in Nepal has the rainbow flag prominently displayed on the outside of the building, as shown in photos and video they have released. The US Embassy in India is lit up with rainbow-colored lights.
American diplomats abroad have also been very vocal about attending Pride events in their specific country of posting. A March for Pride and Tolerance in Jerusalem was attended by American diplomats, while the mission in Nepal had employees holding up letters spelling Pride.
The Trump administration’s refusal to allow the rainbow flag to be raised up platforms is different from the Obama administration’s stance on it. The Obama administration left it up to each ambassador or head of mission to decide on how best to display rainbow flags for Pride.
The decision is also in direct contrast to the Trump administration’s recent push to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Richard Grenell, the US Ambassador to Germany, is the one heading this mission of decriminalization. The US Embassy in Germany was also one of the embassies whose request to raise the rainbow flag on a flagpole was denied.
In a statement to NBC News, Grenell ignored this refusal and focused on the President’s tweet regarding the decriminalization campaign instead. His statement reads: “The President’s recognition of Pride Month and his tweet encouraging our decriminalization campaign gives me even more pride to once again march in the Berlin Pride parade, hang a huge banner on the side of the Embassy recognizing our pride, host multiple events at the Embassy and the residence, and fly the gay pride flag.”