President Donald Trump’s administration is doing right by denying requests by a handful of American embassies to fly the gay pride flag, but not necessarily because it might take issue with gay rights.
Frankly speaking, the American flag alone should fly on federal government flagpoles and leave the political displays – all of them – to some other forum.
Old Glory’s stars and stripes do a good job of projecting the primary message we need to be sending: that she represents all of America. Even where divisiveness exists, our flag should remain the one symbol of unity that includes all Americans.
State flagpoles, and obviously private displays, are a different story, but those representing the entire United States of America should do just that.
The brewhaha came to light Friday when NBC first reported that U.S. embassies in Israel, Germany, Brazil and Latvia are among those that have requested permission from Trump's State Department to fly the pride flag on their flagpoles and were denied.
Meanwhile, similar debate already had erupted in the state of Wisconsin. There, flying a gay pride rainbow flag over the state Capitol for the first time Friday drew backlash from conservative Republican lawmakers who said it was divisive, while Democrats hailed it as a sign of inclusivity, according to the Associated Press.
The flag flap erupted after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers ordered the raising of the flag to recognize June as "Pride Month." The move drew a fast rebuke from state Rep. Scott Allen, who tweeted , AP reported, "Is this any more appropriate than erecting the Christian flag over the Capitol?"
Allen, who describes himself on Twitter as "Child of God/Family Man," said in a follow-up message to The Associated Press that the rainbow flag "advocates a behavior or lifestyle that some Wisconsin residents may not condone. Therefore, it is divisive."
It certainly isn’t the first flag debate to make headlines among the 50 states.
The South saw plenty of it when several states flew variations of the Confederate bars and stripes.
Religious flags, such as the Christian flag, remain susceptible to challenges when flown on taxpayer staffs, and even the use of flags such as the well-known MIA banner have met association with political feuds such as debates on war and peace.
Sometimes such debate is a healthy thing.
Always, the freedom of speech with private displays is a value we Americans cherish.
When it comes to representation for “all of the above,” however, and especially over foreign soil, our nation should say it all with one lone but powerful and inspiring symbol: