“We pledge allegiance to your flag of the United States of America…” – Royalty, Letter to Your Flag.
Letter to Your Flag is a powerful poem by Royalty (Ronald Vinson) that depicts what it’s really like to live as a black youth in modern-day America. The poem is a riff off of the Pledge of Allegiance; a pledge that most Americans were taught to recite in public schools without understanding the meaning. In Royalty’s poem, that pledge is challenged. The poem clearly pleads “please stop saying we’re equal.” Ask yourself, should everyone pledge allegiance to a county and flag they feel is not their own? Maybe. Maybe not. You might change your mind after hearing these powerful words.
Morgan Cooper recently joined forces with Brandon Porter to create a gorgeous visual accompaniment of Letter to Your Flag, called state of america. The video was inspired and dedicated to the work of the late John Singleton who recently passed away. The poem is powerful enough on its own but when paired with the work of Cooper and Porter, Royalty’s words feel enlightened.
Watch the visual interpretation, state of America (a visual expression) and after that, check out the 2018 performance of Letter to Your Flag by Royalty at the Bay area Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam.