Story at a glance

  • U.S. embassies worldwide displayed Black Lives Matter flags on Tuesday on the anniversary of George Floyd’s death.
  • Police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter last month in Floyd’s death.
  • The State Department signed off on the displays.

On Tuesday, U.S. embassies worldwide acknowledged the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin by displaying the Black Lives Matter flag outside the embassies.

Last month, Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter in Floyd’s death. Three additional officers are awaiting trial in connection to the arrest that led to Floyd’s murder, and the three officers and Chauvin are facing federal civil rights charges.

The U.S. Embassy in Athens flew the flag on the building, covering the official embassy seal.

“We raise this banner in honor of George Floyd, murdered one year ago today, in solidarity with people around the globe seeking a world without racial discrimination and a future with equal opportunity for all. #BlackLivesMatter,” the embassy tweeted.

The flag was also displayed at the embassies in Madrid and Sarajevo.


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The U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy tweeted a photo of the flag hanging on the fencing around the embassy in Phnom Penh. “As we mark the 1-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd,” he tweeted, “we are reminded of injustices that persist and our commitment – and obligation – to seek justice, equality, and respect for all.”

President Biden’s State Department signed off on the displays, with a memo reading, “The Department supports the use of the term ‘Black Lives Matter’ in messaging content, speeches, and other diplomatic engagements with foreign audiences to advance racial equity and access to justice on May 25 and beyond. We encourage posts to focus on the need to eliminate systemic racism and its continued impact.”

The State Department also shared a video on the anniversary of Floyd’s death.

“For the United States to be a credible force for human rights around the world, we have to face the realities of racism and hatred here at home,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in the post. “We can’t sweep our shortcomings under the rug or pretend they don’t exist. We need to face them openly and honestly. Even if that’s ugly. Even if that’s painful.”


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Published on May 26, 2021