Dear Eleanor Smith (Newly-elected Wolverhampton South West MP) ,
I am writing this open letter to you regarding The Black Country Flag design.
In my opinion I find it very distasteful that you brand the flag with racist connotations , you do realise this was created by a 12 year old girl Gracie Sheppard? She took elements of The Black Country and brought it together in a brilliant design. So let's break it down for you, the chains represent the chain makers a big part of our history, something we were known for yes, chains were used to keep slaves in shackles and yes, this is unfortunate but do you really think that was going through Gracie's head as she was designing this? No, because she was a 12 year old girl.
If you're worried about chains and what they represent in history take off the jewellery round your neck.
Gracie cleverly took a quote from Elihu Burret in 1862 “black by day and red by night” this was said because in the day furnaces would churn out smoke covering the area with soot and then in the night they would keep on burning giving The Black Country a glow. Gracie even added the Redhouse Glass cone, because we're known for our glass blowing skills .
The design is well balanced , but no you're concerned about and to quote you "The white on black imagery " nobody uses language like that if you pointed to a zebra and asked me " what colour is that ?" I'd say it's black and white !
Coventry is a prime example of how they used black and white in their designs , the two tone movement that represented blacks and whites coming together to make wonderful music and giving up fighting and uniting , not white on black , or black on white. Black and White. Equals.
So let's wrap this letter up....I think it's a shame that you think the flag has racist connotations , I think it very sad that you refused to pose with the flag, a flag that represents The Black Country and it's people , the people who you are representing.
But the thing that annoys me the most and it really, really annoys me is you have taken away a proud moment for Gracie Sheppard a young girl who probably ran back home from school excited to inform her parents that she'd won a competition and you have tried to tarnish her design.
I hope you take in what I've said , I'm not trying to be confrontational , The world is a shitty place at the moment , we don't have to make everything a race issue especially in something where there isn't one. we all need to unite and be as one. As the great Bob Marley said One love.
And to Gracie if you're reading this well done bab, it's a bostin design and I hope you are successful in everything that you do.
Ps. And if you think that I'm coming from this as white person who knows nothing about race. I'm not , half Chinese , half English , brought up in the Black Country and proud of where I am from. I also know a bit about design too.
Pps, Eleanor , please pop to The Black Country Museum , you could learn quite a bit...their chips are really good too... oh and the suck.
Express and star
To read what prompted this open letter please go here.