Addressing President Biden, vp Kamala Harris, and members of Congress, Gray wrote that the American flag “has been hijacked as code for a specific belief. God bless those believers, they can have it.” She added that, like the Confederate, the flag is “tattered, dated, divisive, and incorrect” and no longer represents all people.
“It’s not fair to be forced to honor it,” wrote Gray. “It’s time for a new flag.”
Of the flag’s stripes, Gray wrote how the Smithsonian documents that the white stripes represent purity and innocence. “America is great,” wrote Gray. “It is beautiful. Pure, it ain’t. It is broken and in pieces.” She posed the question: “What if the stripes were OFF-white?”
Gray argued that the flag should include 52 stars, D.C. and Puerto Rico among them — which she noted have been lobbying for statehood for decades.
Proposing a redesign of the stars, Gray asked: “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 included in her op-ed a suggested visual re-imagination of the flag with the updated star colors and off-white stripes.
“Sixty-two years later, in 2021, we have changed and it’s time for a reset, a transformation,” wrote Gray. “One that represents all states and all of us.”
In response to the op-ed, which received a mixed response on social media, the singer was trending on Twitter for much of Saturday, June 19 — known as Juneteenth — in which Biden signed legislation on Thursday to establish it as a Federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery.
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to a representative for Gray for comment.
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.