These flags were a regular production item at the Paramount Flag Co. before 1978 and the subsequent adoption of the rainbow as a symbol of Gay Pride. It was popular with the “Rainbow Children” and other similar counter culture groups. It still is, and as they are quick to point out, “They had it first!”. They were used at Rainbow Gatherings. They were also made by Colors of the Wind in Santa Monica in the 1970’s (I think theirs started with a purple stripe). It is called “New Glory” and predated the “Gay Nation” rainbow by at least six years, probably longer. Also available was a “Rainbow” First Navy Jackbefore 1978. — James Ferrigan, 20 August 1999
The Rainbow Family has used the “New Glory” flag for many years. The canton of stars represents all of the constellations — united, or the U.S. depending on who you talk to. The stripes of many colors represent all of the tribes of the earth. The symbolism being that all of the different peoples or tribes can come together in peace and harmony. At least in a flag! And hopefully in person. The “Rainbow Family of Living Light”, also known as the “Rainbow Family” is an international, non-hierarchical, non-organized, loose-knit group of hippies. Ages vary from 1960´s flower power veterans to new-borns. All decisions are made by consensus. Anyone who cares about the earth and their fellow man is automatically a member. That includes you! Of course, membership lists are not kept, acceptance of a person is automatic upon that person showing up at a “gathering”. Sort of a hippie camporee! Or peace festival. National gatherings in the U.S. draw about 20 to 40 thousand people. It is not a gay organization. Gays are of course included, but as human beings, brothers and sisters, not as predominant or exclusive, or even excluded. Just more people. In about the same proportions as the general population — whatever that may be! — Kevin McNamara, 9 September 1999
According to its designer it depicts the sun reflecting on the ocean as it sets beneath the horizon, and the glaciers, ice cap, and ice bergs so prominent in the island’s landscape.
In 2010 artist and University of Oregon Landscape Architecture professor Mark Eischeid (www.markeischeid.com) traveled to Ilulissat, Greenland where he was inspired to make a series of screenprints reinterpreting the Erfalasorput based on the actual colors he sampled from the landscape there.
Each flag represents colours of landscape elements captured by photograph on a particular day and time. For the Objects at Sea flags, the top band represents the sky, the bottom band represents the sea, the top half-circle represents an iceberg above the water, and the bottom half-circle represents the same iceberg below the water. For the Objects on Land flags, the top band represents the sky, the bottom band represents an adjacent rock outcrop, the top half-circle represents a building, and the bottom half-circle represents the concrete foundation of that same building.
Artsy.net is an online platform for art collecting and education, “making the art world accessible to anyone with an Internet connection”. A well-funded startup, it recently made news by hosting the first art auction in which the art objects were algorithms, and makes use of algorithms to structure content on its site in an effort it calls the Art Genome Project.
Flags and Stamps is the beautifully curated blog of Indian vexillologist/philatelist Sekhar Chakrabarti. The scope of flag stamps covered is wide-ranging, though Chakrabarti has a special interest in the appearances of the Indian flag on stamps. He is author of The Indian National Flag Unfurled through Philatelypublished by Niyogi Books.
shrill_eflags is a Tumblr feed documenting the many uses of the US flag in (non-folk) art, ranging from gallery installations to documentary photography. The archives start in January of this year and @theshrillest (aka Shrill Cosby) has been posting over 60 times each month since then.
It is dazzling to see all the many ways the US flag appears, transformed and situated, in this flood of online imagery. Here is a small sampling.
Neil Armstrong did take a famous picture of Buzz Aldrin standing next to the flag on the moon — but Aldrin is shown in profile, and to the right of the flag.
There is also a famous “selfie” that Armstrong took of himself, using the visor of Aldrin’s space suit as a mirror. This is in fact the astronaut photograph that Warhol used, but only after mirror-reversing it (e.g., in the photo the astronaut is bending his left arm, but Warhol’s astronaut is bending his right).
So Moonwalk has behind it a story of artistic liberties, some taken by NASA, many more by the pop artist.
There is another story unfolding about this iconic flag image by Warhol/NASA. A year after Warhol’s death, Chris Murray’s Govinda Gallery donated Moonwalk screenprints to a charity auction for the Challenger Center for Space Science Education in Houston. Aldrin and his wife Lois attended the event, and Murray ended up giving them one of the yellow screenprints. At the end of this month, Lois and Buzz Aldrin will be auctioning off their copy.
Today is Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday that is celebrated more in the United States than in its country of origin: a Mexican-American holiday more than either a Mexican or American one. How can Mexican-American-ness be expressed through flags? Most commonly, of course, the Mexican flag is used for this purpose, often in conjunction with the US flag.
But here are some designs for merged or distinctive Mexican-American flags.
The text reads:
The cause is holy and God will protect it.
Long live Our Lady of Guadalupe,
Death to bad government,
Death to the Spaniards and the British!
Long live independence!
Long live the Mexican-American United States!
Here is a fascinating 37-minute documentary on the use — by photographers, artists, journalists, institutions, and ordinary citizens — of the American flag in response to war/terrorism, from British film makers David Dunnico and Cat Gregory.
The still unsettled nature of the cultural response to 9/11 is not necessarily a bad thing, allowing room (in theory at least) for artistic questioning and reconsideration, which is closed off when representations become fixed as icons, only suitable for narrowly prescribed contexts, or for parody and cliche. Dunnico and Gregory also highlight important differences between art, memorial, and propaganda, and between still photography, sculpture, and film or other dynamic media.
Joe Rosenthal’s famous World War 2 photograph of the raising of the US flag on Iwo Jima has acquired so much cultural currency, it has transcended its original form and become the most iconic photograph ever taken. But in doing so it has given the culture it came from a problematic legacy, that has become all too aparent in artisits’ responses to the attacks on 9/11.
David Dunnico is a documentary photographer from Manchester in the UK. Cat Gregory is a freelance film editior based in London.
Bucky Turco at ANIMALNewYork reports on a large US flag mural by “interventionist” Ron English that’s gone up on the Houston Bowery Wall (an outdoor exhibition space) in Manhattan. The stars feature star-eyed (or rather star-eye-socketed) skulls, and the stripes are reproductions of English’s Propaganda images of ad and currency parodies. The baby Hulk in the middle?
“The original idea is that he’s Baby America,” explains English. “He’s way more powerful than he is smart. And he’s about to be pissed off about something. It could be all the animals. It could be he’s not in the ads. We don’t know.”
Lots of great images, quotes, and a timelapse video at animalnewyork.com: