Last week, Grammy-winning singer Macy Gray called for a new American flag “that all of us can honor” for Juneteenth, the recently-established federal holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States.
In an editorial for MarketWatch published Thursday, Gray asserted that the American flag is the “replacement” for the Confederate battle flag, claiming that it “has been hijacked as code for a specific belief.”
“God bless those believers, they can have it,” the R&B singer 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 It no longer represents democracy and freedom. It no longer represents ALL of us.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,” she added.
First, Gray took issue with the stars, which represent America’s 50 states. She claimed there “should be 52,” declaring that both Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico should be made states and to deny them statehood is racist.
Gray also criticized the white stripes, which have historically represented purity and innocence.
“America is great. It is beautiful. Pure, it ain’t. It is broken and in pieces,” she said.
The singer then explained what she believed a new American flag should look like, including a focus on skin color.
“What if the stripes were OFF-white? 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? 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?”
Gray wrote that the current flag was designed by a high school student more than 60 years ago in 1959.
“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,” she concluded.
The singer’s suggestion was criticized by lawmakers on Twitter, including South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who tweeted, “A new flag?! No thanks. Old Glory still waves as a symbol of liberty and justice for all.”
Congressman Lauren Boebert also slammed Gray’s editorial, writing, “There are 195 countries in the world. 194 of them don’t have the American flag. If @MacyGraysLife or anyone else hates the American flag so badly, they should pick a flag they like & go live in the country that flies it!”
Gray won a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2001 for her hit song “I Try.”