Did Reykjavik Ensure That Pride Flags Were Prominently Flown to Greet Mike Pence?

Claim

Entities in Reykjavik, Iceland flew rainbow flags to greet American Vice President Mike Pence.

Rating

True

Reporting

On September 4 2019, Twitter user @Heklina shared the following tweet showing a number of gay flags and with commentary about U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Iceland:

Another version was shared by Facebook page “The Iron Snowflake.” In addition to the images, @Heklina’s tweet stated:

Here’s a great example of why I’m proud to be from Iceland 🇮🇸Mike Pence is visiting the country and everyone is outraged. Mayor of Reykjavik, all the biggest firms and companies, everyone, they’re all flying the gay flag. All Pence will see everywhere on his visit is gay gay gay.

In August 2019, the White House confirmed that Pence was slated to arrive in Iceland on September 4 2019, the date on which the tweet was published:

On September 4 [2019], the Vice President will visit Iceland, where he will highlight Iceland’s strategic importance in the Arctic, NATO’s efforts to counter Russian aggression in the region, and opportunities to expand mutual trade and investment.

Critics have long characterized Pence as anti-gay, citing his opposition to marriage equality, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and workplace protections for LGBTQ Americans. GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) maintained a lengthy list of Pence’s unfavorable positions toward LGBTQ people.

On September 2 2019, the Iceland Monitor reported that a spate of rainbow flags had appeared in the vicinity of Pence’s accommodations:

Passers-by have noticed numerous rainbow flags flying in the vicinity of Höfði house, where US Vice President Mike Pence recently arrived on a state visit. Among those are flags in front of the building opposite to Höfði, which houses the headquarters of the company Advania.

“We just felt the need to celebrate diversity today and wanted to show that by flying the flags,” Ægir Már Þórisson, director of Advania, tells mbl.is. Company flags were replaced by the rainbow flags this morning [of September 4 2019] … Others have felt the same need today, for Efling union, the headquarters of which are in the same area, is flying rainbow flags as well.

In addition to the flags flown, Iceland‘s President Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson wore a rainbow bracelet during his meeting with Pence.

The claim that rainbow flags were flown in Iceland to mark U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s visit in September 2019 is true. In addition to the choice of flags, Iceland’s president wore a rainbow bracelet to his meeting with Pence during their visit.