Tory Cabinet Minister Orders Embassies Not to Fly Rainbow Flag

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has ordered UK embassies around the world to not fly the gay rainbow flag during pride marches.

According to the Daily Mail the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London will also not fly the rainbow banner this year, unlike last year when it boasted about the flag on Twitter.

A spokesman said: “The Union Flag always takes priority. It is flown from the FCO’s main flagpole at all times. It is never substituted for another flag.

“It is the FCO’s long-standing policy to fly the Union flag, national flags and the flags of Overseas Territories.”

Hammond was first appointed Foreign Secretary in July last year. His predecessor William Hague took a very different view, tweeting and writing on Facebook during London Pride 2014: “The rainbow flag is flying over the Foreign Office today as the LGBT Pride 2014 parade makes its way through London.”

British embassies also flew the rainbow flag in Paris, Tel Aviv, Oslo and Santiago.

Hammond was one of four Conservative cabinet members who refused to support gay marriage when it was introduced in 2013, saying it would upset “vast numbers of people”.

There are signs that embassy staff may be rebelling however. One worker at the British embassy in Rome said: “Staff of all persuasions at the embassy wore the rainbow colours in T-shirts for a photo shoot for Rome Pride as they were not allowed to fly the flag. People are seriously unhappy.”


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