So, we have to part ways on this one.
In the U.S., everything is about race because racial distinctions were ‘baked into the cake’ at the founding of the country and were perpetuated long after (and still today). Even though I maintain that none of the stripes in Baker’s original flag were intended to symbolize anything racial, we need to acknowledge that it was created by a small group of white people without racially-diverse input. Although it purports to be a common, generic, neutral symbol, it’s actually the product of whites-only thinking. (BTW this is very common phenom in white-dominated societies: viewing white-created cultural symbols as neutral or objective, when they’re actually biased and subjective. That’s not the same as saying they’re racist or evil. It’s saying that symbols reflecting one, albeit dominant, point of view are passed off as reflecting a common point of view.)
So, I think we could say that Baker’s flag is racial, but not intentionally racist, in its conception. And if critics of the original flag were to make that argument — and I haven’t read any who have — I’d wholeheartedly support it. But the solution is not the creation of a new flag by a single person or an advertising agency, especially a new flag based on the (supposedly problematic) original. It’s to convene a representative group of people to design a new collective symbol.
And that should be fun to watch.…[insert eyeroll emoji]