A massive "Black Lives Matter" banner that had been draped on the outside of the U.S. Embassy in South Korea since Saturday was removed Monday after President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo purportedly complained about it, multiple news outlets reported.
The banner was unfurled on the front of the mission building on Saturday. The embassy also tweeted a message in support of the anti-racism movement sweeping across the United States and much of the world following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes.
Trump, who has tweeted "LAW & ORDER" multiple times following the wide-scale protests, called governors "weak" and threatened to shut down protests with violence, was reportedly unhappy about the banner, both Reuters and Bloomberg News reported.
The striking banner, ordered to be hanged by U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris, a retired Navy admiral, was seen as a rare display of open governmental support for the Black Lives Matter movement by a Trump appointee.
After the banner was ordered down, William Coleman, the embassy spokesman, said Harris's reason for putting it up was to "communicate a message of solidarity with Americans concerned with racism, especially racial violence against African Americans" but said it was taken down to avoid the "misperception" that taxpayer dollars were used to support an organization.
In a tweet post on his ambassadorial Twitter account, Harris quoted former President John F. Kennedy and a eulogy to Martin Luther King Jr.
"Recent weeks remind us that MLK's work remains unfinished," he wrote. "Friends, I believe that work falls on each of us today."
The Black Lives Matter banner, as well as a smaller rainbow flag put up for Pride Month, were replaced with a "We will not forget" banner, marking the 70th anniversary of the Korean War.
Emails to the White House and State Department for comment were not immediately returned.