Lately, there has been a push across the United States to remove symbols that seek to honor the Confederacy and the soldiers who fought for it. Those symbols have ranged from statues and monuments to street names in a number of municipalities across the country. The recent moves have been part of a larger effort to stop glorifying and memorializing the Confederate States of America and those who committed heinous crimes against minorities under its banner.
That widespread movement is now extending to state flags, with an Arkansas lawmaker introducing a bill on Friday that would redesignate the Confederate star on the flag to one that would instead honor the Native American tribes in the state, according to The Hill.
Democratic State Rep. Charles Blake is behind the bill, which he has reassuringly stated will not change the design of the flag. Instead, the purpose is to “amend language in the state’s Constitution to mean a large star on the flag represents Native American nations instead.”
With its current design, there a four blue stars around the state’s name in the center of the flag, but the one above the name has always represented the Confederacy. The other three stars represent other important parts of the state’s history.
Blake hopes that, if his bill is passed, the top star will be changed to instead represent a number of tribes that were the first inhabitants in the state: The Quapaw, Osage and Caddo tribes.
Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, also recently shared her thoughts on the fourth star on the flag.
“It is hate. As I learned thanks to my Arkansas public school education, various Confederate flags used by the traitorous Confederacy were created during the Civil War. Not before. Below flag inextricable from slavery. (& I wish the Arkansas flag didn’t have a Confederate star.)”
Some citizens in the state believe that the flag should be completely redesigned, especially given that the last change to the state flag was made in 1923. That alteration to the flag was the addition of the star representing the Confederacy above the state’s name.
Jordan King, a graphic designer from Arkansas, believes the flag is very outdated, according to THV 11.
“I have a lot of pride in our state. We have a lot of things going on,” King said. “There were two main issues I noticed with the current design. One being it hasn’t aged really well.”