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Exxon Mobil will no longer allow its offices to fly flags expressing adherence to or membership of “outside organizations” on company flagpoles, the New York Times reported.
The new policy, which prevents employees from hanging LGBT+ pride and BLM flags on the flagpoles on company premises, is angering some of Exxon Mobil’s employees who in the past have flown gay pride flags outside of Exxon Mobil offices.
Exxon Mobil will only be allowing governmental, company, and employee resource group (ERG) flags to fly outside of its facilities. The Times said that ERGs are “employee-led affinity organizations that are generally blessed by employers.”
ERG flags that celebrate certain group identities may still be flown on company premises during months that coincide with those group identities.
Tracey Gunnlaugsson, vice president of human resources at Exxon Mobil, said, “It’s a longstanding practice at our facilities around the world that E.R.G. flags can be flown during signature months. The flags are directly related to our business and company support of our E.R.G.s.”
For instance, the company’s ERG logo for LGBT+ employees features bubbles filled with several colors around the word “PRIDE.” This logo has been flown at Exxon Mobil offices and is used on T-shirts that employees wear during gay pride parades.
J. Chris Martin, a former employee of Exxon Mobil, who previously had led the LGBT+ ERG group said that a different flag that featured the Exxon Mobil on a rainbow background “was flown at many company locations last year without question” and that he had been told that his ability to display this flag had been revoked “without explanation.”
Martin said, “I’m also told that the employee resource groups were consulted only in a perfunctory way regarding this matter, based on momentary discomfort with displaying a symbol of open-mindedness and support for long suppressed voices.”
He added, “While they may say nobody has lost anything, the symbolism is unmistakable.”
The Human Rights Campaign, a leftist organization that advocates for the LGBT+ agenda under the guise of civil rights activism, lambasted Exxon Mobil’s policy. The group said, “There’s no such thing as ‘neutrality’ when it comes to our rights. Our flag isn’t just a visual representation of our identities. It is also a staple of allyship.”
The Human Rights Campaign has also aggressively come out against Florida’s Parental Rights in Education legislation that was recently signed into law by the state’s Republican governor Ron DeSantis.
In early March, the Human Rights Campaign said that it would refuse to accept donations from the Walt Disney Company until it took “meaningful action” against the then Parental Rights in Education Bill.