Banksy posted the new piece on Instagram, in which he highlights the portrait of a faceless black man and a candle. The full painting shows that the candle has set the American flag on fire, likely a reference to how Floyd’s death has sparked nationwide outrage.
Floyd was a black man who was unarmed when he died while in police custody in Minneapolis May 25 after an officer kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes as Floyd complained that he couldn’t breathe. The incident has sparked peaceful protests against police brutality as well as rioting and looting in cities across the country.
Banksy included a message with the painting, which talks about how he feels the need to get involved because this is not just an issue for black people, but is also a “white problem.”
“It’s not their problem. It’s mine,” the post reads. “Like a broken pipe flooding the apartment of the people living downstairs. This faulty system is making their life a misery, it’s not their job to fix it.”
Nearly 2 million people had liked the photo as of Saturday evening.
The comments were largely supportive, otherwise.
The original publication of this article included a note that flag burning is a federal crime: while Congress did pass a measure to ban flag burning in the '60s, the right to burn a flag is currently protected under the First Amendment.