Puerto Rico’s New Progressive Party, or PNP, on Monday celebrated the 240th anniversary of the independence of the United States by proposing a new 51-star flag, Fox Latino News reports.
PNP secretary-general William Villafañe unveiled the flag at the headquarters of the party, which supports making Puerto Rico the 51st U.S. state.
“It’s time to achieve equality,” Villafañe said.
The politician presented the standard at the PNP’s headquarters in San Juan, saying that the new flag sent a message to the United States to solve the island’s political status and “respect the wishes” of the Puerto Rican people.
The PNP official called on the U.S. government to “respect the will of the people and give way to a decolonization process in which statehood is achieved” in the island.
Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth and Puerto Ricans are American citizens by birth.
On July 25, 1898, U.S. forces invaded Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War.
The island’s residents were granted U.S. citizenship in 1917, yet they cannot vote in presidential elections, though Puerto Ricans living in the continental United States can.
Since 1952, the island has been a self-governing, unincorporated territory of the United States with broad domestic autonomy, but without the right to conduct its own foreign policy.