Macy Gray has doubled down on her criticism of the U.S. flag as she continues to call for a new redesigned version with stars that would represent “everyone’s skin tone.”
The singer elicited a strong response with her op-ed for MarketWatch, published on Thursday, in which she said the current flag “no longer represents democracy and freedom” and was “tattered, dated, divisive, and incorrect.”
She suggested Old Glory’s popularity at the U.S. Capitol riot showed that for many it had become a “replacement” for the Confederate battle flag, which she called “a symbol of opposition to the abolishment of slavery.”
In an interview that aired on KTTV on Monday, the Grammy winner doubled-down on her criticism of the current flag and continued to promote her proposed redesign.
“Why do we have to celebrate a flag that now represents divisiveness and hate?” Gray asked Fox 11’s Susan Hirasuna.
Recalling the January 6 riot, she said: “The people there held it up as their symbol, as this is what America represents. We’re threatening to hang the Vice President and our gang sign is the flag.”
Gray also spoke abut her hopes for a future national flag, saying: “We want to keep the red and the blue, because the red stands for courage, the blue stands for vigilance, integrity, and all these things.
“And then there’s the white, which the Smithsonian says means purity. So I’m saying, which I don’t think anybody can disagree with me on this, that America is not exactly pure.”
Grammy winner Gray, who worked with an artist to create her new flag, has replaced the white stars with a multicolored design.
“There’s something called the melanin scale,” she said of the alteration. “It actually has everyone’s skin tone that is on this Earth, from yours to mine. [From] the darkest person on Earth to the lightest person on Earth.”
Her version of the flag also has 52 stars, instead of 50, to represent Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico—two territories that she suggests have been refused statehood because voters there would likely be people of color and Democrats.
Since revealing her thoughts on the current version of the Star Spangled Banner, Gray has faced a wave of criticism, with Arizona Congressman Andrew Biggs tweeting: “If you don’t like the American flag, feel free to leave.”
Addressing such comments, Gray said: “As far as go back to wherever, I just want to tell all the haters who say that, it’s just a monumentally uneducated thing to say.”
She added of the current flag: “I shouldn’t have to salute it, I shouldn’t have to honor it, I shouldn’t have to pledge to it. All I’m saying is, let’s redesign the flag for the rest of us, who aren’t a part of that tribe.”
Gray said that she has relatives who fought and died for the U.S., who would be “disappointed” to see the flag “used to violate the Capitol and assault other Americans.”
In her op-ed, Gray wrote of the flag: “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.”
“We have changed and it’s time for a reset, a transformation. One that represents all states and all of us,” she added.
According to Britannica, there have been 27 versions of the U.S. flag since 1777, with the most recent change more than 60 years ago to include stars for Hawaii and Alaska.
Newsweek has contacted a representative of Gray for comment.