It’s Still a Grand Old Flag


A popular singer-songwriter I’ve never heard of, Macy Gray, has written an op-ed saying it’s time to replace the American flag. She trots out the now standard leftist tropes about the flag’s not representing all Americans, since it is part of a shameful, irredeemably racist past, and she wants a new flag that is not “divisive” and that all Americans can be proud of.

I disagree, of course, and note that Ms. Gray’s hoped for new flag would be at least as divisive as Old Glory, since it would be a purposeful repudiation of the American past, the people who made that past, and all of us who still take pride in that past.

But I will say this: what she is proposing is entirely consistent with how we have been acting from the death of George Floyd right through the adoption of Juneteenth as a national holiday, an adoption preceded by essentially no debate.

And unless we do develop some spines, Old Glory’s eventual demise is inevitable.

As for the rest of Ms. Gray’s argument, I’ll give the final word to a great American songwriter as portrayed by a great American actor. I’ve watched this scene many times, since Cleveland’s UHF station used to show the movie in which it appears every Fourth of July. I stand with George M. Cohan and James Cagney: it’s still a Grand Old Flag. I also suspect this scene will trigger Ms. Gray, but, to quote a great American film made three years before this one, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

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Tom Piatak

Tom Piatak writes from Cleveland, Ohio.

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