No stars and stripes? Reimagined US flag sparks outrage

US flag

The American Flag waves on September 17, 2005, at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) — Should the American flag be changed? The New York Times recently published an opinion essay on the flag with reimagined designs for Old Glory, and it has raised the ire of many.

The essay is part of the Times’ “Snap Out of it, America!” series, which explores bold ideas to reinvigorate the American experiment.

“The American flag is a potent piece of national iconography, but its design shifted frequently until the early 1900s. What if it were redesigned today? We asked artists and graphic designers to try,” the Times wrote. “Some are functional designs, others artistic renderings; some represent America as it could be, others how the artist sees the country now.”

The six new designs represent a variety of ideals, including honoring America’s history, focusing on unity and race relations and advocating for saving the planet, among others.

A design by Andrew Kuo is divided into four rectangles with one featuring red and white stripes and the other three as solid colors (blue, yellow and green). Kuo said his design “acknowledges the emotions that informed where our country has been and the spirit of where it may go.”

The blue in Kuo’s design stands for “untapped potential,” the yellow for “repairing system racism” and the green represents “taking care of our planet.”

Another, by design agency 2×4, which stated that the U.S. flag “has been made and remade” over the years, is a blurred color design in which “the familiar symbolism falls out of focus.” Yet another, titled “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” is a collage of several flags, including “Black Lives Matter” and “Progress Pride.”

Commentary associate editor Noah Rothman wrote on Twitter that the designs were “entirely unnecessary,” while Jake Bequette, a veteran, former NFL player, and Arkansas Senate primary candidate, told NewsNation’s “The Donlon Report” on Thursday that he thinks the designs are too politically motivated.

“I wore that flag on my shoulder when I deployed to Iraq, the 101st Airborne Division when I served in the U.S. Army, and I think it’s ridiculous to even consider changing it,” Bequette said.

He added, “The Democrat Party have been pushing for a fundamental transformation of this country for many years and we’re seeing evidence of that. We’re seeing evidence of that in attempts to change our flag, we’re seeing that in trying to create a new national anthem they’re playing before certain sporting events. But if Democrats are telling us they want to fundamentally change the US, we should believe them, and we should fight back against it.”

Rebecca Mansour, senior editor at Breitbart News, took aim at the Times on Twitter, ridiculing what she called “the stupidest op-ed (if writing is the right word for this) of all time.”

However, not everyone was completely opposed to the idea.

Joseph Britton, who goes by @britton773 on Twitter, said he associates the current flag with racism.

“I do feel our current flag lost it’s meaning over the years…I see the flag flying on a truck and I automatically assume racist, and that’s really kind of terrible,” he wrote.

In July, a Times report also addressed the American flag’s persona, portraying it as a divisive symbol in the country. It said that flying the flag “from the back of a pickup truck or over a lawn” hints at “a person’s political affiliation in a deeply divided nation.”

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