After 243 years of American independence, I’ve discovered that it’s time to do away with deceptive symbols representing our nation’s history. The starting point? Overhaul the flag. I have that on good authority.
Ten days ago, Nike withdraw a special July 4th shoe featuring the 13-star Betsy Ross flag after Colin Kaepernick, former 49ers quarterback and current Nike marketing/cultural advisor, called the company out. It seems that white power groups have adopted the Betsy Ross flag, the stars representing the 13 original colonies, all of which permitted slavery.
That got me thinking. Giving up a classic symbol of our struggle for independence represents a small sacrifice to stand against racism (and hopefully, anti-Semitism). Still, I’m puzzled.
Who owns a symbol—or a word? Whites used the N-word do denigrate blacks. Blacks threw it back in their faces—or ears—by appropriating it. “We’ll take the sting out of it by using it ourselves.” The LGBTQ community transformed “queer” from a word expressing deviation and sin into a state of less usual but normal sexual preference. Can’t non-racist Americans take back the Betsy Ross flag?
Some people think not. And I’d hate for anyone to think me insensitive. So I propose we give our flag a makeover.
For starters, we’ll dump those 13 red and white stripes. Like the 13 stars on the Betsy Ross flag, they symbolize the original colonies, which celebrated freedom in 1776 while tolerating—and promoting—slavery. I suggest five stripes. The number’s basic, like the fingers on a hand. But we’ll replace the red—this nation has shed much blood—with green, representing our commitment to the earth. The white stripes? (If you have to ask, no need to finish reading this.) Let’s do purple for purple mountains majesty.
Now the stars. We have 50, one for each current state. But many once were slave states and others also legalized slavery. Those stars are out. Still, racism—and this isn’t just an issue for African Americans—has been endemic in all states. So let’s just display a single star.
But it can’t be five-pointed. That’s what the old stars looked like. Six points? The far right will bellow that it looks like the Star of David symbolizing hated Jews while the far left will associate six points with the flag of hated Israel. (Funny that it works for many police and sheriff’s departments). So, we’ll do a starburst. Gold? Nope. Promotes capitalism. It’ll appear in black, brown, yellow and red representing people of color. Add white? Get real.
Last, the field. Presently, it’s blue. But thinking about America’s near-quarter-millennium of existence makes any virtuous person blue. We’ll go gray. Depressing? Maybe. But gray expresses how so many Americans feel about the U.S.A.—except when our women’s soccer team wins the World Cup.
Let justice reign! Our new flag will boast five stripes—green and purple—plus a gray field with a single starburst representing the ethnicity of what soon will represent half of America’s population.
Then let’s blow up everything else associated with the nation’s history—the Statue of Liberty has to go—and obliterate every shred of its past, because micro-aggressions have no place in our present.
As to the future, damned if I know whether it’ll last another 25 years let alone 250.
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