PR51st received an email from East Grand Rapids High School on the subject of Puerto Rico statehood.

Subject: Puerto Rico Statehood/Project

Message Body:
Dear PR51st,

I am part of a group known as C.O.C.S.S or companions of circles and state sovereignty. We are currently students at East Grand Rapids High School who are passionate about issues of government. Particularly those regarding the admission and creation of states, and subsequently the changing of the United States flag.

This is an important issue as it affects the lives of millions of US citizens who currently do not have the same rights as the mainland US. We thus believe it is not only right to add more states, such as Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, etc, but imperative for the continued welfare of this nation.

Puerto Rico has been a U.S territory since 1898, yet since then talks of it becoming a true state have continuously been shot down or ignored. This has brewed frustration not only for residents of Puerto Rico, as well as mainland citizens in support of the territory, they’re subject to U.S law, yet have no say in the creation of, as well as the possibility to veto proposed laws. This same statement applies to Guam and the Virgin Isles. In a “free and united” country this should not be a circumstance, as said in the constitution “all men are created equal” our fellow American citizens deserve this equality too.

These peoples are under the direct control of our government yet, they’re not citizens? This doesn’t sit right with us. These people are a part of our nation and deserve to be treated as such. The creation of new states is not a short process by any means, however it is crucial that we begin soon, as there will come a time where the people of these territories become fed up with waiting, and continuous neglect by their government.

Action is what we need to take, and now is the time for it.

The addition of a new state will also bring forward questions about our country’s symbol, the flag. If we are to add more states, how can we fit new stars within it? Symbols are powerful representations of a people and in this case a country, an increase in unity and equality should be represented in how the country presents its symbol. We thus propose for the formation of a circle to be taken, creating space for the newly formed states, as well as proclaiming a statement of newfound unity for our nation going forward.

Given your consideration, and platform, bringing this issue to light as well as pushing for it on the floor is imperative to our cause and would be greatly appreciated.  We can’t offer much, other than spreading the good word, but your team can. That is to say that pushing for Puerto Rico to become a state only serves to benefit the people of these nations, as well as lay the foundations for future states and increase overall domestic sovereignty.

We are delighted to see this support for Puerto Rico statehood from the rising generation.

Their proposal for the flag would arrange the stars in a circle. This is one of the designs offered by Puerto Rico’s New Progressive Party:

We found another option on Reddit:

This one is quite different from the current flag, and is based on the artwork of Robert Indiana.

Both use a circular arrangement of stars, not only to incorporate a 51st star for Puerto Rico, but also, as the students pointed out, “proclaiming a statement of newfound unity for our nation going forward.” At a time when the United States is seeing greater levels of division, it might be the perfect time to recommit to unity.

Statehood for Puerto Rico has always been a bipartisan effort and an issue that can unite conservatives and liberals as well as people across the national political spectrum.

A big thank you to C.O.C.S.S for reaching out!



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