Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, left, swears in Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt at the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C, on August 1, 2017. Photo: U.S. DOI
National | Politics

Secretary Zinke requires special flag to be flown when he's in Interior building





Secretary Ryan Zinke is facing new criticism over a seemingly odd routine that takes place when he's at the Department of the Interior.

According to The Washington Post, a special "secretarial flag" is flown at 1849 C Street NW whenever Zinke, a former one-term Congressman, in the building. It comes down when he leaves, the paper said.

“We’re talking about Cabinet members and federal buildings, not the Queen of England and Buckingham Palace,” Chris Lu, a former Obama administration official, told the paper.

A spokesperson for the department told The Post that the flag represents Zinke's commitment to "transparency" by showing he is at work. But none of his predecessors, Republican or Democrat, appear to have followed a similar routine. Other members of the Cabinet members in the Trump administration don't do the same either.

"Here we have Ryan Zinke now, acting like the Queen of England," Joe Scarborough, the co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe said on Friday morning. Scarborough, a former member of Congress, quit the Republican Party after tangling repeatedly with President Donald Trump.

But Zinke isn't alone in the special flag ritual, The Post reported. When he's not around, a different flag is raised for Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt, the paper said.

Read More on the Story:
Where’s Zinke? The interior secretary’s special flag offers clues. (The Washington Post October 12, 2017)
A new frontrunner in the ‘Trump’s Oddest Cabinet Member’ contest (MSNBC October 13, 2017)

An Opinion:
Joel Clement: Secretary Zinke, it's time to call it quits (CNN October 12, 2017)

Related Stories:
Secretary Zinke derides questions about travel as 'bull' while GOP provides cover (October 5, 2017)
Secretary Zinke hit with investigation over 'motivational speech' to hockey team (October 4, 2017)
Secretary Zinke under investigation for travel on government and private planes (October 3, 2017)
Mark Trahant: Trump's health secretary gone after reaching out to Indian Country (October 2, 2017)
Secretary Zinke flew home to Montana on charter flight that cost over $12K (September 29, 2017)
Trump upset with Secretary of Health and Human Services over private flights (September 28, 2017)
Interior Department won't talk about rumors of more employee reassignments (September 28, 2017)
Secretary Zinke compared Interior to a pirate ship in speech coming under fire (September 27, 2017)
Secretary Zinke claims 30 percent of Interior employees aren't loyal to 'the flag' (September 26, 2017)
Secretary of Health and Human Services took private plane to tribal meetings (September 25, 2017)
Secretary of Health and Human Services continues outreach in Indian Country (September 19, 2017)
Secretary Zinke's 'Thursday night massacre' at Interior under internal investigation (September 13, 2017)