Macy Gray has sparked a great debate amid changing times in the U.S.: A call to redesign the American flag.
The Grammy award-winning singer proposed that the flag should be designed for all 50 states and their people in an op-ed published at MarketWatch. She argues that the flag no longer is a symbol of “democracy and freedom.”
Although the American flag replaced the Confederate battle flag, Gray sees a common thread between the two despite years of change.
“The Confederate battle flag, which was crafted as a symbol of opposition to the abolishment of slavery, is just recently tired,” she writes. “We don’t see it much anymore.”
The U.S. flag, however, continues to reflect the common racial tensions of the Confederate flag, including what it means to Americans, and why predominantly Black Washington, D.C. and predominantly brown Puerto Rico are not represented by stars.
“Let’s look at the stars.” Gray writes. “There are 50, where there should be 52. D.C. and Puerto Rico have been lobbying for statehood for decades. Both have been denied since statehood would allow each territory’s elected officials seats in the house. Assuming D.C. reps would be African-American and Puerto Rican reps would be Hispanic, the ultimate assumption is that these elected officials would be Democratic. That alone is racist.”
To end her argument, Gray suggests remaking the flag to be as diverse as the nation.
“What if the stars were the colors of ALL of us — your skin tone and mine — like the melanin scale? The blue square represents vigilance and perseverance, and the red stripes stand for valor. America is all of those things.”
Click here to check out the rest of Gray’s Op-Ed.