The New York Times published an opinion essay on Tuesday that imagined new designs for the American flag, some of which emphasized divisions and decline in the country.
"The American flag is a potent piece of national iconography, but its design shifted frequently until the early 1900s. What if it were redesigned today? We asked artists and graphic designers to try," the Times wrote. "Some are functional designs, others artistic renderings; some represent America as it could be, others how the artist sees the country now."
One design from Andrew Kuo shows a flag split into four rectangles with one square consisting of red and white stripes while the other three are solid blue, yellow, and green rectangles. According to the artist the red stripes represent the past, the white stripes represent the future, while the solid colors represent "untapped potential," "repairing systemic racism," and "taking care of our planet."
Another design titled, "Lift Every Voice and Sing" merges several prominent flags like the "Don't Tread on Me" and "Black Lives Matter" into one, while another monochrome, gray one with stars "represents America surrendering to its fall from power and loss of the ideals it once stood for."
The designs were from the Times' "Snap Out of It, America!" series, which it calls "bold ideas" on how to "renew the American experiment," and they were met with ridicule by both conservatives and liberals.
"This was entirely unnecessary," Commentary associate editor Noah Rothman tweeted .
Breitbart News senior editor Rebecca Mansour wrote, "Congratulations to the @nytimes for writing the stupidest op-ed (if writing is the right word for this) of all time. (And this is quite a feat considering the vast landscape of stupidity coming from the @nytopinion page.) Bravo! You've outdone yourselves."
"These are all completely terrible," left-wing writer Oliver Willis said.
In June, liberal Times editorial board member Mara Gay remarked that it was "disturbing" to see dozens of American flags on trucks owned by Donald Trump supporters during a trip to Long Island. The next month, the Times reported on the flag as a divisive symbol in the U.S.