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51-Star American Flags Displayed on Pennsylvania Avenue Ahead of Flag Day

On Monday, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered 51-star American flags to be displayed along Pennsylvania Avenue ahead of Flag Day.

The mayor made the order “as a reminder to both Congress and the nation that the 700,000 tax-paying American citizens living in Washington, D.C., demand to be recognized.”

“On Flag Day [June 14], we celebrate American ideals, American history, and American liberty. But the very foundation of those ideals, and the basis for our liberty, is representation,” Mayor Bowser said in a statement. “DC’s disenfranchisement is a stain on American democracy – a 220-year-old wrong that demands to be righted.” 

The stars on the American flag represent 50 states, with the last being Hawaii. It was admitted on Aug. 21, 1959. And the 50-star design became official on July 4, 1960. 

The notion of D.C. becoming a state continues to be a contentious issue among lawmakers. D.C. has a population of more than 700,000 residents – which is greater than the states of Wyoming or Vermont – however, residents don’t have a voting member in the House, and they have no representation in the Senate.

The district also has no control over its own local affairs, but the district pays more in federal taxes than 21 states and more capital than any of the 50 States, according to the 2019 IRS data book. 

In April, House Democratic lawmakers passed the “DC Admission Act,” which would make Washington, D.C. the 51st state and allow its residents to have full representation in Congress, Fox News reported.

However, Republican lawmakers argue that because Washington, D.C.’s establishment is based on Article 1, section 8, clause 17 of the Constitution, any change to the district has to come in the form of a constitutional amendment – not legislation from Congress.

They’ve also argued that the idea of D.C. becoming a state amounts to little more than a power grab by Democrats, alleging it will allow them to expand the majority in the Senate by adding two more senators from a liberal enclave. 

Bowser invoked the leaked Supreme Court opinion draft that suggested Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that legalized abortion, was about to be overturned. 

“As Americans nationwide brace for a decision on the future of Roe v. Wade, we are also reminded that DC’s disenfranchisement impacts not just Americans living in D.C., but Americans nationwide who share our values,” Bowser said. “While the stakes are even higher for Washingtonians, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the majority of Americans who believe in a woman’s right to choose.” 

Bowser also suggested that the majority of D.C. residents are n agreement “with the majority of Americans” calling for “common-sense gun reforms.” 

“We are at an inflection point for American democracy, and it is within the Senate’s power to do the right thing, embrace representation, and move DC statehood forward to the President’s desk,” Bowser added. 

The nation’s 106th Flag Day will be observed on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. 

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