Prison Radio
Jason Goudlock

“Should The U.S. Adopt A New Flag,” by Ohio political prisoner Jason Goudlock.

After Adolf Hitler’s murderous military force was defeated in 1945, the infamous red, white, and black swastika-bearing German flag was abolished along with all Nazi symbols. In 1949, the newly formed post-World War II countries of East Germany and West Germany both adopted the national flag colors in black, red and gold.

Following Hitler’s campaign to exterminate Jews, the Nazi flag was an image of horror for most Germans. Imagine the worldwide condemnation if the newly formed countries of East and West Germany had decided to adopt the Nazi flag with its black swastika.

How dare do the people of the United States consider it appropriate to fly the tri-colored red, white, and blue stars-and-stripes flag—which carried to existence during the eighteenth century when the U.S. was decimating the sacred lands and cultures of Native Americans and trafficking in enslaved humans from Africa.

Today, the people of a country that considers itself the rear of the free world want to relinquish this symbol of historical trauma, just as East and West Germany relinquished theirs after World War Two. Not doing so is to embrace a heritage rooted in oppression, thus ignoring the feelings of millions of Americans—the feelings of those who were oppressed, enslaved, and murdered on soil over which the stars and stripes fly.

The U.S. has made significant progress in improving race relations among its citizens. But it has not yet come to terms with the hard truth that no [inaudible] has tried, no spoken words, no fathers will separate its country’s dark history from his flag. If history has been written, then it cannot be erased. But, as history has shown, it can be transcended.

In 1994, three years after South Africa abolished its brutal and oppressive system of apartheid, the country began to transcend its deep racial divide by electing as president, former political prisoner and African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela. The late Mandela’s election often overshadows the equally important adoption in 1994 of a flag designed to civilize an all-inclusive, ideal of unity. On the flag: six colors. The yellow, black and green represent the African National Congress, which brought about the end of apartheid. The remaining red, white, and blue represent the Boer of Republic, fathered by South Africans early debt settlers.

The flag remains the national flag today, demonstrating to the world that great racial division can be mended. If South Africa can transcend their history of apartheid, the U.S. can transcend its history of racial strife also. With the still ongoing racial divide in the U.S. today made visible, when unarmed people of color were killed by law enforcement officers, it would be a bold step toward atoning for its dark history, if the U.S. retired the stars and stripes and adopted a new flag, baring in its design a symbol of unity.

After coming through the aid of many members of the global community, the people of the U.S. need to come to their own aid by transcending their dark racial history. President Donald Trump might not agree, but the U.S. need not regress to a time of greatness for a limited few, instead, it needs to progress toward becoming great for all of its citizens. Adopting a new flag will be a giant step in that direction. The world rejoiced in 1994 when South Africa adopted their more inclusive flag. And I’m pretty sure it would do the same for the United States. So, at the title of the time, Spike Lee feels to just, “Do the Right Thing” America, and [inaudible], make the flag great.

Learn more about this Ohio political prisoner, who was the subject of a feature length documentary film, Invisible Chess: The Jason Goudlock Story. As well as the author of the novel Brother of The Struggle, by logging onto That’s free Jason, G-o-u-d-l-o-c-k, dot org.

(Sound of a cell door closing.) These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.