On June 17, recording artist Macy Gray wrote in an op-ed that the “tattered, dated, divisive, and incorrect” symbol of freedom, Old Glory, needs to go – and be replaced by a new version that is inclusive to all races. Gray’s proposed changes include multiple shades from the 64-count Crayola Crayon box, including red, white, and blue but adding “colors of ALL of us — your skin tone and mine.” Yeah, those flesh tones will undoubtedly impress the world and spark fear in our enemies while soothing the folks who tend to make mountains out of molehills.
Gray prefers “off-white” bars and stars cozied up with black and brown hues to reflect America’s diversity. She would, however, keep the blue and red. Imagine that.
The singer insists that the 1950s version of the Stars and Stripes reflects on a past that some progressive types attempt to erase. She argues our flag is past her prime as “It no longer represents democracy and freedom.” Why? Are the stars too bright and white? Because a bunch of old former European white guys – and their wives – picked the color palette? Are stripes racist?
Only Macy knows what she is trying to communicate but, as talented a singer as she may be, stringing together coherent thoughts appears problematic when she says:
“Incorrect? Let’s look at 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. 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.”
Well, even a grade-schooler understands what assuming gets you: mocked. There are not 52 states, and until Congress declares that there are, by admitting the Swamp and Puerto Rico, it’s not going to happen for Macy’s new flag design.
Red, White, And Blues
Predictably, Macy’s opinion torqued off a few people who fall into America’s bright red color scheme, and colorful barbs were thrown in the singer’s general direction. Lavern Spicer, a Republican who ran for Congress in Florida last year, with a reference to the lyrics of the singer’s only well-known song, tweeted in response: “[Macy Gray] had one hit song about 20 years ago and hasn’t done anything since. Now she wants to come out from the dark and say that she hates our flag. Your world would crumble if you weren’t in America.”
Rep Lauren Boebert (R-CO) had a friendly suggestion for Ms. Gray: “There are 195 countries in the world. 194 of them don’t have the American flag. If Macy Gray or anyone else hates the American flag so badly, they should pick a flag they like & go live in the country that flies it!”
Another reply to Gray’s Twitter feed: “For the flag that has fought for the liberty, freedom, and rights of those who live under her. Even those who hate her don’t understand the sacrifices that are and have been made while she flies.” Democrats remained silent on the opinion piece. Progressives, of course, follow along in lockstep with the idea of dismantling the symbol of freedom, opportunity, strength, and diversity.
Stars And Stripes 101
While the Stars and Stripes, the first official national flag, was approved by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777, there were numerous versions – both before and after – that brought us to the flag we know today.
A high school student designed the current U.S. flag for a school project. It was 1958: And the United States Congress was nosing around for a new take on the star-spangled banner. Robert Heft designed a 13-striped and 50-starred flag. His teacher gave him a B, but Congress adopted the version that we pledge allegiance to today — thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton.
Heft’s design followed the mandate that Congress laid down in 1818 that all flags would always have 13 stripes to represent the original colonies who declared war on King George III and started the ball rolling on independence. Congress also insisted that the number of stars should match the number of states in the Union. Any new stars would be officially added on July 4, when a new state was formally admitted.
And the red, white and blue is non-negotiable per the U.S. Congress in 1934 in keeping with the words of Declaration of Independence signer, Charles Thomson, secretary of the Continental Congress: “White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue … signifies vigilance [sic], perseverance [sic] & justice.”
Gray beseeching queries, “What if the stripes were OFF-white? What if the stars were the colors of ALL of us — your skin tone and mine — like the melanin scale?”
Hey, Macy: what if we live up to the standards that our flag represents? Just a thought. And Macy, another parting tip; perhaps invest in an app for your incoherent rambling style of prose. It’s not like singing.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.