Macy Gray is celebrating Juneteenth by calling for a redesign of one of the United States’ most iconic symbols: its flag.
In an essay published Thursday June 17 on the Wall Street-focused news site Market Watch, Gray says that in the wake of the 2020 election and the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, America needs a new emblem.
“President Biden, Madame Harris and members of Congress: the American flag has been hijacked as code for a specific belief,” the “I Try” singer writes.
Referring to the insurrectionists and the current American flag, Macy says, “God bless those believers, they can have it. Like the Confederate [flag], 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 It no longer represents democracy and freedom. It no longer represents ALL of us.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 included her proposed redesign in the op-ed. Though clearly a derivative of the current ‘Stars and Stripes’, Gray’s design would add two stars for the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and change the colour of the currently bright-white stars and stripes.
OPINION: "Sixty-two years later, in 2021, we have changed and it’s time for a reset, a transformation. One that represents all states and all of us," writes singer Macy Gray. https://t.co/VTezKfjxdr
— MarketWatch (@MarketWatch) June 18, 2021
“D.C. and Puerto Rico have been lobbying for statehood for decades,” Gray points out. “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,” she adds. “That alone is racist.”
As for the stripes, Gray notes that, according to The Smithsonian, the white stripes are meant to represent “purity and innocence.” And while Gray says “America is great” and “beautiful”, she insists, “Pure, it ain’t. It is broken and in pieces.”
“What if the stripes were OFF-white?” she asks. “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 — like the melanin scale?”
Gray’s design doesn’t change the flag’s blue square and red stripes, noting that they stand for vigilance/perseverance and valor, respectively. “America is all of those things,” she says.
However, she believes, “in 2021, we have changed and it’s time for a reset, a transformation. One that represents all states and all of us.”
You can read her full essay HERE.