The White House today reiterated in a letter to the International Olympic Committee that "the United States strongly objects to any use of its national flag and its national anthem in connection with the upcoming Olympic Games in Moscow, including the closing ceremonies."
IOC Director Monique Berlioux, who was given the letter from White House Counsel Lloyd N. Cutler this afternoon by an official of the U.S. embassy here, said, "We are studying the letter."
In the meantime, she said, the IOC still plans to raise the Stars and Stripes and play the "Star Spangled Banner" during closing exercises for the boycott-riddled Moscow Games on Aug. 3 -- the IOC's traditional signal that the next Summer Games, scheduled for Los Angeles in 1984, will be in the United States.
"This is the protocol of the IOC. The IOC's position has not changed," Berlioux said in a press briefing after the IOC membership completed the agenda of its 83rd session by approving 12 new events for the Los Angeles Games, most of them for women, and electing four members to its nine-man executive board.
Cutler's five-paragraph letter reaffirmed the Carter administration's support for the Olympic movement, but said, "The use of the United States flag and anthem during the closing ceremonies at Moscow raises a very sensitive issue.
"At the request of the president, the United States Olympic Committee is not participating in these games because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The United States government has also urged other governments to requet their Olympic committees not to participate," the letter went on. "It would, therefore, be highly inappropriate for the United States flag and anthem to be used at any time during the Games at Moscow."
The U.S. Embassy released the text of Cutler's letter, but officials declined to speculate on what action the U.S. might take in the likely event that the IOC goes ahead with its plans.
Meanwhile, the 77 IOC members here completed the work on their agenda.
Nine new events, eight of them for women, were added to the program for the Los Angeles Games. Three swimming events (200-meter medley for men and women, and men's 400-meter relay) were reinstated, and one judo even (open class) was deleted.
Two women's track events -- the 3,000 meters and 400-meter hurdles -- were approved, and the IOC left open the possibility that a women's marathon would also be added to the Los Angeles program.
Other events added for Los Angeles were board sailing (also known as "wind-surfing"), a new yachting discipline in which men and women will compete in one event; women's cycling (50- or 70-kilometer road event, to be determined by the International Cycling Federation); synchronized swimming (women's duet); and rhythmic gymnastics (combined, or "all-around," category only).
Three women's shooting events -- air rifle, standard small-bore rifle, and air pistol -- were also approved. Formerly, men and women competed together in these events, as they will continue to do in trap and skeet.
The IOC added liberally to the current 203 events within the existing 21 sports on the summer program, but balked at adding a 22nd sport: table tennis.