The New York Times proposed six new designs of the American Flag last week, including those that pay homage to Black Lives Matter, Keep America Great, and Progress Pride, and others that focus on “repairing systemic racism” and “taking care of our planet.”
“The American flag is a potent piece of national iconography, but its design shifted frequently until the early 1900s,” the NYT opinion piece stated. “What if it were redesigned today? We asked artists and graphic designers to try. The flags they came up with reflect a mix of approaches. Some are functional designs, others artistic renderings; some represent America as it could be, others how the artist sees the country now.”
The first design by artist Andrew Kuo features four rectangles. In the top left, red and white stripes represent “our past” and “our future.” The remaining three spaces are solid yellow, green and blue, representing “repairing systemic racism,” “taking care of our planet,” and “untapped potential.”
“I’ve designed a flag that acknowledges the emotions that informed where our country has been and the spirit of where it may go, with joy and forgiveness as possibilities,” Kuo explained. “We can’t ignore how we got here, but maybe we can move toward a different, even better place.”
Another design by Na Kim includes 50 white stars on a gray background, which the artist says “represents America surrendering to its fall from power and loss of the ideals it once stood for.”
“The American dream is being washed away,” Kim adds.
One of the designs features a collage of triangles made up from the pieces of other well-known flags, including those linked to the so-called black national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” Black Lives Matter, Gadsden flag (“Don’t Tread on Me”), In God We Trust, A thin blue line, Under God our vindicator, Keep America Great and Progress pride.
Scott Whitlock tweeted a photo of the design.
The final design proposed by the New York Times suggests that “the American flag was once a unifying symbol; its red, white and blue belonged to everyone. But now, red and blue are tribal signals, and the flag seems to represent two factions forced to share a piece of fabric.”
The flag has thirteen horizontal stripes, with three blue and white stripes alternating from the top down and three red and white stripes alternating from the bottom up. In the center of the flag is one purple stripe, included to “remind all of us of the constant potential and possibility inherent in America when red and blue come together as one.”
One of the artists behind the final design shared the idea on Twitter.