Friday, July 1, 2011

With Liberty and Justice for All

I've been shooting images of the flag for a few years now. This has become a project which is beginning to take on some sort of shape. Where it will end or what I will learn from it is still a big unknown.

Public display of the US flag is not uncommon. We expect to see it in a variety of public settings. But what is it that compels some individuals, ordinary citizens, to display the flag in a window, on a pole in front of their houses or on their cars?

There are of course the obvious motivations: patriotism, nationalism, solidarity. But over the past decade the flag has come to represent many different things to different people. For some it is a buffer of protection, for others it represents an over abundance of false promises and still for others it serves as a warning.

It has become more acceptable to include the flag in the design of products, packaging and apparel. The meaning, the symbolism present in the image of the US flag has become more complicated and much harder to define than at any time in the past.

Is the flag something people, as a nation, can stand behind or is it becoming a symbol they prefer to hide behind?

Photo: ©2011 David W. Sumner

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