The United States Navy’s official Twitter account temporarily changed its cover photo to a rainbow-colored graphic Thursday to kick off the beginning of Pride Month, according to screenshots posted on Twitter.
The graphic featured ships and aircraft with rainbow colors streaming from them, along with the word “Pride” in different colors.
The account later changed the cover photo to a view of a ship deck from a control tower. However, during the time the Pride graphic was shown, the service received some flak.
“Why are recruiting numbers so bad???” one Twitter account by the name @BowTiedRanger tweeted, along with a screenshot of the Navy account’s graphic.
“Why are recruiting numbers so bad???” pic.twitter.com/nxUo95xSFk
— BowTiedRanger (@BowTiedRanger) June 1, 2023
Another did a before and after photo comparison.
— Mostly Peaceful Memes (@MostlyPeacefull) June 2, 2023
There were also a number of responses criticizing the graphic.
“The only colors that should be promoted by the @USNavy are Red, White and Blue,” one user wrote.
The only colors that should be promoted by the @USNavy are Red, White and Blue. https://t.co/23QihRu5ww
— DragonDavid (@DragonDavid76) June 1, 2023
The Navy on Friday afternoon also tweeted a statement from Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro recognizing Pride Month and celebrating Harvey Milk, the first openly-gay candidate to be elected to public office in California.
Milk served as a lieutenant junior grade in the Navy. In 2016, Obama Navy Secretary Ray Mabus would name a ship after Milk.
“I am proud to know that HARVEY MILK joins the ranks of present and future USNSs SOJOURNER TRUTH, EARL WARREN, ROBERT F. KENNDY, LUCY STONE, and JOHN LEWS as beacons in every port of call for the diversity, equity, and inclusion that we value as a Department and Nation,” Del Toro said.
ALNAV: https://t.co/fGKMsz1dx5 pic.twitter.com/vQbad6heNN
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) June 2, 2023
None of the other services — the Army, Air Force, or Marine Corps, appeared to follow suit in marking Pride Month with a special graphic on social media or tweeting a special message.
Last year, the Marine Corps came under fire for tweeting a graphic of a helmet with rainbow bullets wrapped around it. This year, the service tweeted about PTSD awareness instead.
The Coast Guard, which falls under the Department of Homeland Security and not the Department of Defense, did tweet a graphic and tweet in support of Pride Month, however.
Happy #PrideMonth! 🌈⚓️During Pride Month and throughout the year, the #CoastGuard celebrates the #LGBTQ+ community and emphasizes an inclusive Coast Guard where all people are respected, empowered, and valued.
— U.S. Coast Guard (@USCG) June 1, 2023
The Navy has come under heavy criticism from the right recently, after recruiting an active-duty “non-binary” sailor and drag queen named “Harpy Daniels” as one of its first five Navy Digital Ambassadors.
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