Fact Check

Was a Pride Flag Flown at US Embassy to the Vatican?

The flag was displayed at the start of Pride Month in 2021.

Published Jun 4, 2021

Updated Jul 13, 2021
 (Flickr / Quinn Dombrowski)
Image Via Flickr / Quinn Dombrowski
A photograph shows a pride flag hanging from the Embassy of the United States to the Holy See.

At the start of Pride Month in June 2021, a picture started to circulate on social media that supposedly showed the rainbow-colored Pride flag hanging from the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican. 

This is a genuine photograph.  

It was first posted to the social media accounts of the Embassy of the United States to the Holy See on June 1, 2021.


The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See posted two other photographs featuring the flag's rainbow colors on that day. The first showed the White House bathed in rainbow lights, and the second accompanied a statement from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken:

“As we celebrate Pride Month this June, let us not only observe how far we have come in the struggle for the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons, but also acknowledge the challenges that remain.”

The picture of the flag on the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See drew some criticism from conservative critics. Evangelist Franklin Graham, for example, called the display an "insult to the Catholic Church!"

The Vatican has not commented on this display of the flag. While the Catholic Church has traditionally been opposed to gay marriage, Pope Francis has made a few statements over the years that seemed to contradict the church's position on homosexuality. 

In 2013, for example, Francis said: "If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?” More recently in 2020, Francis told a group of parents of LGBTQ children that “God loves your children as they are” and “the church loves your children as they are because they are children of God.”


Correction [July 13, 2021]: Corrected to note that the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See is not literally in the Vatican.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

Article Tags

Read More

a Member

Your membership is the foundation of our sustainability and resilience.


Ad-Free Browsing on Snopes.com
Members-Only Newsletter
Cancel Anytime