Singer Macy Gray wrote in a Juneteenth op-ed piece at MarketWatch that it is time for a new U.S. flag. She advocated for a 52 star flag, designed to include both Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. as new states.
Old Glory is “confusing”
Gray also wants color changes, though her new design is otherwise the same as the basic U.S. flag, with stars and stripes.
“President Biden, Madame Harris and members of Congress: the American flag has been hijacked as code for a specific belief,” she wrote.”Like the Confederate, it is tattered, dated, divisive, and incorrect. It no longer represents democracy and freedom. It no longer represents ALL of us. It’s not fair to be forced to honor it. It’s time for a new flag.”
Gray referenced the use of the American flag in the January 6th uprising at the capitol. “I feel like the flag has been violated and weaponized,” she told Fox News in an interview. “We all saw a man being beat with a flag pole and we saw the insurrectionists storm the capital and use the American flag as their badge and symbol.”
The biggest change Gray proposes is in the color and number of the stars. The U.S. flag has white stars, one for each state. “Let’s look to the stars. 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,” Gray wrote. “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.”
Puerto Rico has a history of voting for both Republicans and Democrats, and the platforms of both parties support statehood for the territory.
“What if there were 52 stars to include D.C. and Puerto Rico? What if the stars were the colors of ALL of us — your skin tone and mine?” Gray continued.
According to the Legion of Honor, the colors of the flag are symbolic. “According to custom and tradition, white signifies purity and innocence; red, hardiness and valor; and blue signifies vigilance, perseverance, and justice.”
Gray suggests that, while the United States still stands for valor and perseverance, we can no longer claim purity and innocence. She has replaced the white stars and the white stripes as well with neutral colors. Her design keeps the red and blue elements, updating them slightly for a more modern look.
Reactions in social media have ranged from enthusiastic support to angry reactions.
However, Gray has continued to argue for the change she proposed.
“What the flag represents at this point is confusing. I think it’s confusing to us, it’s confusing to other countries,” she said. “It’s weird to honor it or to salute to it because you don’t know what it stands for anymore.”