Republican presses VA to stop flying Pride flag, requests removal of any ‘flags promoting social policy positions or political statements’

News & Politics

Republican Rep. Mike Ezell of Mississippi has taken issue with an LGBT Pride flag being flown at a Mississippi Veterans Affairs facility.

In a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough and Interim Medical Center Director of the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System Stephanie Repasky, Ezell contended that flags pushing political or social ideology should not be flown on VA premises.

“It has come to my attention that the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Harrison County, Mississippi (Biloxi VAMC), which is home to the Biloxi National Cemetery, is flying the rainbow pride flag at its front entrance. While I believe everyone should be treated with respect, I take serious issue with any flag flying at a VA facility that promotes social policy positions or political statements,” he wrote.

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“Our VA facilities should be focused on serving and providing quality care to our veterans, who deserve our utmost respect and admiration. These facilities should not be used as tools to promote any social or political agenda, and only government and military flags, such as POW/MIA flag and flags of the U.S. Armed Forces, should be flown or displayed alongside the American flag on VA property,” Ezell declared. He concluded, “I am writing to request that this flag, and any other flags promoting social policy positions or political statements, be removed.”

Biloxi VA adds rainbow flag to Pass Road display for Pride

McDonough expressly supports displaying Pride flags at VA facilities. Last year, he authorized flying the controversial flag.

“Last June, I raised the Pride Flag at VA Central Office in Washington, D.C. This year, I authorized all VA-owned facilities to fly it for up to 30 days in June,” McDonough tweeted in 2022.

On Friday, McDonough shared a photo of a Pride flag flying on a pole beneath an American flag and another flag. “Happy Pride to LGBTQ+ Veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors! Your service, your sacrifice – even in the face of discrimination – will never be forgotten. Proud to fly the Pride flag over VA, and proud to serve you each and every day,” he tweeted.

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