Grammy Award-winning singer Macy Gray marked the occasion of Juneteenth, the newest federal holiday, with a call to ‘cancel’ the American flag, suggesting it be replaced with a new design heavily focused on race.
“Like the Confederate [flag], it is tattered, dated, divisive and incorrect,” Gray said of the Stars and Stripes on Thursday, in an op-ed published by MarketWatch. “It no longer represents democracy and freedom.”
It no longer represents all of us.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 argued that the last straw that tainted the flag’s reputation beyond repair came on January 6, when a crowd of pro-Trump protesters stormed the US Capitol with many waving the American banner.
Gray’s grievances against the flag also included the fact that it has only 50 stars, leaving out Puerto Rico, a US territory, and the District of Columbia, which she said have been denied statehood because of a “racist” assumption that their representatives would be Hispanic and black, and hence Democrats.
The white stripes are objectionable because they represent “purity and innocence,” she continued, arguing that while America is great and beautiful, “pure it ain’t. It is broken and in pieces.”
The singer allowed the red stripes and blue square to remain, as they represent valor, vigilance and perseverance.
The current flag design dates to 1959, Gray said, adding, “In 2021, we have changed, and it’s time for a reset, a transformation, one that represents all states and all of us.”
Gray’s flag proposal might seem far-fetched to some, but one observer argued that ‘progressive’ ideas that seem absurd today would quickly become mainstream through the media. “Don’t be naive,” he said. “Even seven years ago, writing about a new flag would have been viewed as a virtual desecration, condemned roundly. But today, Gray knew her thoughts would be accepted and amplified by media culture. And sure enough, they were printed uncritically.”
More systemic discrimination.
Indeed, many in the ‘cancel culture’ orbit have hinted at disdain for Old Glory in recent years. Nike scrapped a new sneaker design featuring the original flag of the 13 colonies in 2019, reportedly at the behest of Black Lives Matter activist Colin Kaepernick. The ex-football player decided that the 1776 flag, which President Barack Obama flew at his second inauguration in 2013, was a symbol of slavery.
Florida congressional candidate Lavern Spicer, a Republican, argued that by bashing the flag, Gray is challenging the very system that allowed her to prosper. “Macy Gray had one hit song about 20 years ago and hasn’t done anything since,”Spicer said. “Now she wants to come out from the dark and says she hates our flag. Your world would crumble if you weren’t in America.”
Former Donald Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis also dismissed the proposed flag redesign. “I don’t like to brag, but we’re kinda proud of that ragged old flag,” she said.