The Black Lives Matter and Pride Flag have been removed from the US Embassy in South Korea, as per request of State Department Leadership.
What We Know:
- On Monday night, the Black Lives Matter Flag and Pride Flag had been removed from the US Embassy building in South Korea. This comes only two days after the flags were first placed on the façade of the building.
- The flags were originally put up and posted on the official Twitter of the U.S Embassy in Seoul on Saturday afternoon. In the tweet, the embassy says it “stands in solidarity with fellow Americans grieving and peacefully protesting to demand positive change”. Ambassador Harry Harris was quick to take to Twitter to take credit for the banner.
- Harris, a retired four-star admiral, made clear his intention with the sign in a post on social media. In his tweet, Harris quoted late US President JFK stating “If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity”. He also stated America who gains it’s strength through that diversity. Harris made his post as the administration is under fire over its response to the death of George Floyd and Trump’s decision to oppose the renaming of bases named after Confederate generals.
I believe in what President JFK said on June 10, 1963 at American University: "If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity." USA is a free & diverse nation…from that diversity we gain our strength. https://t.co/vpk2NbFoWl
— Chargé d’Affaires Chris Del Corso (@USAmbROK) June 13, 2020
- The removal of the Black Lives Matter flag comes as a request from the offices of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on the 7th floor of the department. The reason for the removal of the flag was cited as Black Lives Matter being a non-profit organization, thus the US government can’t openly encourage or promote any specific organization. A spokesperson for the embassy was quoted saying in a statement that this was done “to avoid the misperception that American taxpayer dollars were spent to benefit such organizations”.
- The embassy is yet to make a statement as to why the pride flag was removed from the building, but Pompeo has been under fire for his opinion on the LGBTQ community and the same-sex marriage in the past, specifically preventing the flag from being hung last June.
The banner, which was displayed on both the embassy’s Twitter and website, has been the most straightforward display of diplomatic sympathy towards to Black Lives Matter movement.