(AP) — The Pentagon says it will maintain an existing policy that bars "unofficial flags" from being flown at U.S. military bases and will not make an exception for the rainbow-colored Pride flag that represents the LBGTQ community.
June is Pride Month, and Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby told reporters during a briefing that Secretary of State Lloyd Austin "is proud to celebrate and honor the service commitment and sacrifice of our LGBTQ personnel in and out of uniform."
"Knowing that the month of June was was approaching, we wanted to do due diligence and take a look at the old policy and and see if if we felt it was still applicable," Kirby said.
"After some careful consideration, the Department will wmaintain the existing policy from July of 2020 regarding the display or depiction of unofficial flags," he said.
"So there won't be an exception made this month for the Pride flag."
Kirby explained "this was really more about the potential for other challenges that that could arise from that exception."
Kirby also told reporters that Austin has been briefed about intelligence findings that will be reported to Congress later this month on the U.S. government’s knowledge of unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAPs - better known to the public as unidentified flying objects or UFOs
Investigators have found no evidence the sightings are linked to aliens - but can’t deny a link either.
Two officials briefed on the report say the U.S. government cannot give a definitive explanation of aerial phenomena spotted by military pilots.
"We take all incursions into our operating spaces seriously," Kirby said.