Black Lives Matter (BLM) flags are displayed at U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide to mark the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death.
The BLM flags on display at all U.S “Diplomatic and Consular posts” were authorized by the U.S. State Department on May 25 through a leaked memo published by Human Events.
“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 memo read.
“This cable constitutes a blanket written authorization for the calendar year 2021 from the Under Secretary for Management (M) to display the BLM flag on the external-facing flagpole to any Chiefs of Mission who determine such a display is appropriate in light of local conditions” the memo further read while noting, “This is an authorization, not a requirement.”
U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy shared a photo to Twitter on May 24 showing the BLM flag displayed on a fence surrounding the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh.
The U.S. State Department in Sarajevo unfurled a large BLM flag over the front of the U.S. Embassy.
Eager to comply with the U.S State Department’s memo Greece displayed the flag at the U.S. Consulate General in Thessaloniki and the U.S. Embassy in Athens. The U.S. Consulate General in Thessaloniki raised the BLM flag on its official flagpole under the U.S. national flag.
The BLM flag covered the embassy’s official seal at the U.S. Embassy in Athens.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken shared a video to his official Twitter account on May 25 in which he echoed sentiments expressed in the leaked BLM flag memo.
“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,” Blinken said in the video. “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.”
The U.S. State Department authorized the BLM flags to be displayed in May “and beyond. The department has authorized the LGBT pride flag to be displayed on the same pole as the U.S. national flag during June, which is considered “pride month” by the LGBT community.