The latest scandal in U.S. diplomatic circles is that Morey Amster-Dam, ambassador to Nauru intends to fly the Confederate Flag over the American Embassy on May 10, 2023. Luckily, the United States Congress has stepped in to stop the nonsense.
The next order of business for the Congress, after the election of Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Assistant Speaker Marjorie Taylor Greene, was to pass Laurens SC Congressman Jeff Duncan’s bill, the Old Glory Only Act. That means ONLY The American Flag can fly above U.S. Embassies. Congress passed the bi-partisan bill, President Biden vetoed it (of course!) and the veto was overridden.
Ambassador Dam is disappointed, but he understands the bill’s purpose. For Unity Day (May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia), some embassies flew the Rainbow Flag; and in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder some embassies flew the Black Lives Matter Flag.
“Of course,” Ambassador Dam said, “we can’t have any of that.”
Thankfully, he said, the new law has a sunset clause - January 6, 2025. On that day, when Donald J. Trump is certified as the president for his third term, the law sunsets. Embassies already have announced plans to fly the Trump Flag and the Let’s Go Brandon Flag on that day. President Biden has announced that these embassies will be sanctioned, but by then he will be a lame duck.
Congressman Duncan believes in his bill — “Our beautiful flag, Old Glory, should be the only flag flying and representing our country over our diplomatic and consular posts worldwide. The American flag is a beacon of liberty, and no other flag or symbol better portrays our shared values than the Stars and Stripes. It is important to ensure that Old Glory only is flown at American embassies to represent our ideals abroad.”
Ambassador Dam emphasized that he does not disagree with Duncan. However, he said, flying the Confederate Flag serves an educational purpose. “Many of the 10,824 people in this country (194th out of the world’s 195 countries) have asked me about the Jan. 6, 2021 Insurrection, so I intended to have a podcast about America’s First Insurrection. It is important for people around the world to understand American history, and to understand when is the right time and the wrong time, to overthrow their government.”
Ambassador Dam stressed that he is not advocating an overthrow of the Nauru government. “We are an important ally of the United States,” stressed Ambassador Dam, who is a holdover ambassador from Trump’s first administration.
“He is the President, and until he travels over here and relieves me in person, I am staying,” Dam said.
The U.S. State Department refused to comment.
Vic MacDonald is Editor of The Clinton Chronicle. In June, 2025, he will observe his 50th year in community journalism. Reach him at 864-833-1900.
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