The Flag Project

I do not tend to subscribe to the concept of countries as I grow older. I have lived in several and found them all to have both good points and bad. My ideal country, should I have to accept one, would be an amalgam of all of them.

I found it somewhat strange, when I came to America, that the Stars and Stripes were displayed so prominently everywhere I looked. I had not noticed this phenomenon in other, older democracies. That said, on a trip to Britain a couple of years ago I did see number of St. George's flags on display. Either some kind of football emblem or to ward off dragons, who knows.

I decided, a few years ago, to begin photographing this iconic image.

The images span the range of simple "house fittings" through (probably) genuinely patriotic displays to those used for purely commercial reasons.

This is the first time I deliberately photographed the flag. I was strolling down Commercial Street in Provincetown on Cape Cod, MA when I saw it framed by the tree. In a town often derided as being too liberal and way too gay it seemed amusing that the icon so frequently flapped by patriotic rightwingers should be so proudly displayed.

Stars and Stripes, Provincetown

I found this in a cemetery in Mystic Seaport, CT where a large number of dead from the Civil War are buried. It seemed quite poignant.


Although a little hard to see, this flag has a matching hot air ballon beside it. A statement? Photographed before Bush left the office he so tarnished.

An average house in Worcester, MA. Many houses display these although the "rule" about taking the flag down at night unless illuminated seems to be mostly ignored.

A spring evening shot in Millbury, MA. I like the way the highlighted grass leads into the flag.

I found this flag surrounded by origami doves, at a Peace/No Nukes Rally in the mid eighties. Taken from a scanned color negative.

Stars and Stripes at a Peace Rally

Captain America, caught at the same Peace Rally.

One of the small memorials found at the corner of so many American roads. This one is in Millbury, MA. They tend. it seems, to be more decorated around Memorial Day.

The flag in commerce. Taken in July 2009. Does the "sample" bottle and the camouflage of the cashier mean something?

The flag as headgear. Fourth of July, 2009.

MS at Trader Joe's

The flag as clothing. Trader Joe's Art Exhibition, 2009.

MS at Trader Joe's

A tiny flag stamp on the door of my library in Auburn, MA

A huge flag flying over the PriceChopper store in Auburn, MA. I added a little post-processing.

A flag and "Walk Ins Welcome" sign at a hairdressers. An invitation to immigrants?

Taken at the Walk to Cure Cancer at UMass Hospital in Shrewsbury, MA in 2008.

UMass Walk to Cure Cancer 2008

Worcester, MA. Flying on, I believe, the DCU Center and framed by two "go" lights......

Taken on Lake Avenue, Worcester MA. Tiny and hidden amongst the foliage.