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Singer Macy Gray: The US flag is ‘tattered, dated, divisive, and incorrect’

Singer-songwriter Macy Gray said this week that the American flag is in need of a replacement, arguing that it is “tattered, dated, divisive, and incorrect.” 

In an op-ed in honor of Juneteenth published Thursday on MarketWatch, the Grammy Award-winning R&B and soul artist wrote that the American flag “has been hijacked as code for a specific belief.” 

“God bless those believers, they can have it,” she continued. “Like the Confederate, it is tattered, dated, divisive, and incorrect. It no longer represents democracy and freedom.”

“It no longer represents ALL of us,” she added. “It’s not fair to be forced to honor it. It’s time for a new flag.”

Gray argued that the flag should contain 52 stars, citing the continued lobbying efforts of Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico to achieve statehood. 

As far as the “stripes” on the U.S. flag, Gray said, “Smithsonian documents that the ‘white” stripes represent purity and innocence.” 

“America is great. It is beautiful,” she wrote. “Pure, it ain’t. It is broken and in pieces.”

“What if the stripes were OFF-white?” she questioned. “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,” Gray wrote. 

“So, what if those elements on the flag remained? What if the flag looked like this?” she said before introducing a picture of her own redesigned U.S. flag, complete with 52 stars in a range of colors from light peach to dark brown and stripes that are light gray instead of white.

Gray in the op-ed went on to describe the history of the flag, which was designed by 17-year-old Bob Heft for a school project in 1959, when there were just 48 states in the country. 

“Hawaii and Alaska were up for statehood and Bob had a hunch they’d get the nod,” Gray wrote. “He crafted a NEW flag with 50 stars for the then-future, because things had changed.” 

“Sixty-two years later, in 2021, we have changed and it’s time for a reset, a transformation,” she added. “One that represents all states and all of us.” 

The piece was published the same day President Biden signed into law legislation making Juneteenth an official federal holiday. 

The day, June 19, marks when enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, were told they were free. For years, it has become more widely acknowledged as the day officially marking the end of slavery. 

D.C. and Puerto Rico, both of which have nonvoting delegates in the U.S. House, have repeatedly launched efforts to become official U.S. states. 

The House in April passed along party lines a bill that seeks to make D.C. statehood official. 

The D.C. bill, which has received support from Biden, is set to be discussed by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee during a hearing on Tuesday.

Tags American flag D.C. statehood House Joe Biden Juneteenth Puerto Rico statehood
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