Congressman calls for removal of rainbow flag from entrance at Mississippi VA Medical Center
Published 5:04 pm Friday, June 2, 2023
One of Mississippi’s four US congressmen has called for removing a rainbow flag flying in front of a Mississippi VA Medical Center in his district.
Rep. Mike Ezell from Mississippi’s Fourth District sent a letter about the flag flying at the entrance to the Biloxi VA Medical Center to Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough and Dr. Stephanie Repasky, who serves as Interim Medical Center Director of the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System.
In the letter, Ezell said the flag pole in front of the VA Medical Center should be for only government and military flags.
In 2022, McDonough authorized all VA-owned facilities to fly the rainbow flag for up to 30 days each June to send LGBTQ+ veterans a message that the VA “is creating a safe and inclusive environment” for them.
“Dear Secretary McDonough and Dr. Repasky:
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.
I am especially concerned that the flag in question is flying on a flagpole usually reserved for an American flag, the flag for which the veterans receiving care at the Biloxi VAMC served and the flag for which many of those interred at the Biloxi National Cemetery gave their lives.
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 govemment 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.
For these reasons, I am writing to request that this flag. and any other flags promoting social policy positions or political statements, be removed.”