With the help of social media, Generation Z has become a determined group of individuals that grow together and make a huge impact on the world while doing so. While many may say they spend too much time on their phones, many of these individuals make more of a difference than the criticizers. From protesting to spamming the president, Generation Z will do anything to get justice.
Generation Z on TikTok
Recently, Generation Z’s recent TikTok hero, Will Wahony made a video on the popular social media app TikTok right after TikTok users trolled President Trump with fake tickets for his rally, tricking the president into thinking a million people would show up. You can read more about how Generation Z are vocalising their opinions on TikTok in our recent articles!
Specifically, thousands of tickets were bought but not followed by attendance solely to prank the president. Trump left the rally looking defeated. Will commented on this, stating how Generation Z can come together and easily do anything. He then came up with the idea to trick Fox news into making a story about ‘Generation Z trying to change the American flag’ as well as the national anthem.
First, Will had his friend Toby Phillips make a flag. On the flag, the red and white stripes are replaced with yellow and white stripes to “symbolize happiness, positivity, clarity, energy, optimism, enlightenment, remembrance, and intellect,” as he said on the manny flag website he created, mannyflag.org. The blue and the white stars in the top left corner are replaced with a black square — because black lives matter — with a white drawing of Manny from Diary of a Wimpy Kid, symbolizing “unity, justice, and being unproblematic.” He added to this even more by saying that the national anthem should ‘obviously’ be changed to “Black and Yellow” by Wiz Khalifa
Will wrote all of this on the change.org petition “Changing the American Flag and National Anthem.” In the video where he first told the internet about this, he first explained while also telling the 10 million+ Generation Z viewers to email Fox News to make the story. While this might seem like a prank with little meaning, it is full of depth and helped the nation move a lot further in the path to justice and equality.
Manny Flag Website
As Will said on the Manny Flag website, for generation Z, “This website is to be used as a hub for change. We will update this page as often as possible with petitions, donation links, and other methods of making change. The biggest thing you can do is spread the word by whatever means possible. For our brothers and sisters of Generation Z and the parents and relative of Generation Zs”
Anonymous, a new activist/collective group of hackers (probably yet another Generation Z activist), or “hacktivists,” shared this activist symbol on their twitter page @YourAnonNews and consequently spread the petition throughout the nation even more. This continues to bring us all together in order to make a change.
Unfortunately, some people can find a way to make this seem disrespectful to the flag, veterans, and nation. However, Will has done a great job to clear this up. In personal communication, Will stated: “I knew the flag wasn’t actually going to get changed, but it was more a way to show people how easily we can unify as a generation under something. The manny flag was supposed to be a symbol of unity among Generation z. A lot of people don’t understand how powerful we are and how much change we can really make. I made it into a website with other petitions and ways to make a real change, mannyflag.org.”
On mannyflag.org itself, Generation Z hero, Will also said, “The Manny Flag is a symbol of PEACE, and NOT to be radicalized. So much of our generation has love and passion for what is right in their hearts, but many do not know where to start.” He definitely found a creative and amazing way to initiate development involving unity and justice. Will summed this up perfectly with the statement: “It was never about changing the flag. It was to show you guys the power that we all have as generation Z.”
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Natalie is a highly motivated high school student and writes articles for her school newspaper and has found her love for advocacy throughout her time as a volunteer in her community. She plans to use her writing abilities, and logical thinking to become an attorney and protect people.