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Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Monday ordered 51-star American flags displayed along Pennsylvania Avenue ahead of Flag Day, June 14.
The mayor said she had her team hang the flags from the 51 stars “to remind Congress and the nation that the 700,000 taxpayer-paying American citizens living in Washington, D.C. demand recognition.
“On Flag Day, we celebrate American ideals, American history and American freedom. But the very foundation of those ideals, and the basis of our freedom, 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 the 50 states, the last of which, Hawaii, was admitted on August 21, 1959. The 50-star design of the American flag became official on July 4, 1960.
The notion of DC statehood remains a contentious issue among lawmakers. DC has a population of over 700,000 – more than the states of Wyoming or Vermont – but residents have no voting members in the House and no representation in the Senate. The district also does not have control of its own local affairs. However, DC pays more federal taxes than 21 states and more capital than any state, according to the 2019 IRS Data Book.
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In April, House Democratic lawmakers passed the “DC Admissions Act,” which would make Washington, D.C. the 51st state and grant its residents full representation in Congress.
Republican lawmakers have argued that because the establishment of Washington, D.C. is based on Article 1, Section 8, Term 17 of the Constitution, any change to the district must take the form of a constitutional amendment — not of congressional legislation. They also argued that the idea of a DC state amounts to little more than a power grab by Democrats to expand the Senate majority by adding two more senators from a liberal enclave.
In his Monday statement, Bowser referred to the Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion 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 affects not only Americans living in DC, but Americans across the country who share our values,” Bowser said. “As the stakes are even higher for Washingtonians, we stand with the majority of Americans who believe in a woman’s right to choose.”
Bowser suggested that the majority of DC residents are on the same page “with the majority of Americans” calling for “union–feel gun reforms.”
“We are at an inflection point for American democracy, and it is within the power of the Senate to do the right thing, enact representation and advance statehood from DC to the office of the President. “Bowser said.
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The 106th National Flag Day will be observed on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.
Americans across the country will pay homage to the national flag, which was adopted nearly a year after the United States declared independence when the Second Continental Congress officially approved the first design of the American national flag – June 14 1777.
Fox News’ Cortney Moore contributed to this report.
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