Friday, March 18, 2016

Thinking about flags

I mentioned in my last post that I've had flags on the brain for quite some time, and promised to tell you about why that's such a powerful image for me.  I've always loved the flag.  Back in the 70s there was a time when Vietnam hawks and social conservatives (often the same people) appropriated the flag as a symbol of conservative hawkery; waving the flag or wearing a flag pin showed your disdain for filthy hippies, peaceniks and liberals of all sorts.  It took years before we filthy hippies were able to reclaim the flag as ours too.  Since then I have made a point to celebrate the flag whenever I can.

I rarely walk past a flag without taking a picture.  In my years of daily and weekly photographs posted on the blog, I've shown many many pictures of flags, like this one:

from Photo Suite 27, 7/1/2012

In 2008, I made a quilt consisting of 4,084 tiny flags, one for each of the U.S. military war dead in Iraq.

Postage 3: Memorial Day, detail

And I'm in the midst of making a new flag quilt right now.  It's going to be one of my Quilt National entries so I have to play coy and not show you more than a peek, but here's what the red stripes look like:

and here's what the white stripes look like:

If you think this flag has seen better days, you're exactly on my wavelength.  Contemplate your own metaphor.


  1. From Canada, the US flag seems destined to be soon flying in distress ... upside down. As we view the results of the Primaries, it's getting scarier and scarier. Let cooler and wiser voters prevail.

    1. I believe they will. Not ready to turn that flag upside down yet.

  2. That quilt of your with all the tiny flags is one of my most favourite quilts.
    I too love flags and the idea of flag inspired quilts. When we get a flag of our own I will definitely make it as a quilt or maybe I should design some original ones.....

    1. Good idea -- I too am thinking about designing some original flags. I'll probably write about that later this week.

  3. I remember being in awe of your flag quilt at QN. It took my breath away.