State Department to fly ‘Progress’ flag in honor of Pride month

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The State Department later this week will fly the “Progress” flag in recognition of Pride Month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday during an event with the Atlantic Council addressing global issues facing the LGBTQI community.  

The Progress flag is a variation of the rainbow flag synonymous with the LGBTQI community that is meant to acknowledge other marginalized groups within the community, including people of color, transgender people and those living with or who died from HIV/AIDS. 

The flag builds on the six-stripe rainbow design of the Pride flag but includes a horizontal chevron along the left side that features black, brown, light blue, pink and white stripes. 

The flag will be flown between June 26 and 28, with Blinken saying those two dates “marks a couple of important turning points in our history for LGBTQI rights.” 

June 26 marks the Supreme Court ruling in 2015 in Obergefell v. Hodges, which established that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed for same-sex couples throughout the United States. 

June 28 marks the anniversary of the start of 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, largely regarded as the beginning of the global rights movement for the gay community and the basis for recognizing June as Pride Month, celebrating the LGBTQI community and acknowledging the struggle for civil rights.  

“I think this is going to be a significant couple of days, and we will see the Progress flag flying at the State Department,” Blinken said.

The secretary also said that he has made clear that all U.S. embassies across the world are permitted to fly the Pride flag, in a reversal of the former Trump administration’s policy that rejected requests from U.S. embassies abroad to display the flag.  

“We’ve given our chiefs of missions, ambassadors around the world, the authority to do that,” Blinken said.   

The secretary said it is “hugely important” for U.S. embassies to fly the Pride flag to show support for the “defense, support, the protection of the LGBTQI persons around the world.”  

“This is, again, the strength, the power of our own example, the willingness to speak up, to speak out to, show the strength of our own diversity, including at our embassies, I think sends a hugely important message,” Blinken said.

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