Outkast’s Stankonia flag

OutKast are a celebrated hip hop duo from Atlanta.  For their critically acclaimed 2000 album Stankonia, in what became an iconic image, they appear on the cover in front of a huge black and white variant of the US flag, with inverted stars.

Paste magazine ranked it 21st in their list, The 25 Best Album Covers of the Decade (2000-2009):

Stankonia‘s album cover presented OutKast’s Andre Benjamin and Antwan Patton as they were and are—strong, smart, funky and ready to “[give] the youth the truth from this booth.” Most striking of all is the stark, black-and-white-American-flag backdrop, hinting at a separate America—a place that exists apart from the country experienced by the masses. A place called Stankonia. Fun fact? This flag is actually enormous and hangs on the wall in the tracking room at OutKast’s northwest Atlanta recording studio. We saw it there, and it was awesome.

Cover of the album Stankonia.
Cover of the Outkast album Stankonia.  Art direction and design by Mike Rush.  Photograph by Michael Lavine.
The Stankonia flag.  Image from Wikipedia.
The Stankonia flag. Image from Wikipedia.
Outkast performing in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park, September 27, 2014.  The flag design is similar but not identical to Stankonia's: the stars are right side up.
OutKast performing in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park, September 27, 2014. The flag design is similar but not identical to Stankonia’s: the stars are right side up. Image from Wesley Hodges’ review in the Consequence of Sound.

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Author: SDM

Ethnography * Technology * Design

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