Friday, April 15, 2005


A friend recently told me about an idea for a photo essay they are wanting to shoot. I was surprised, pleasantly so, when I heard that the subject would be American Flags.

Old Glory.

The Stars and Stripes.

Our nation's standard.

My surprise faded to a low hum as I listened to the details. It would be a black and white study of American flags in the context that they are a hated symbol to much ofthe rest of the world. I dispute that assertion but my common ground with this friend is not political. I make no mystery of the fact that I am more than just a little to the right of being a centrist. And it has always been just as transparent that he is every bit left of center that I am to the right.
Let me say that I love his idea.
the idea of a photo essay highlighting our flag.
Let me say that I do not love the politics behind his idea. Fortunately for both of us we live in a country under this symbol hated by many, if you subscribe to my friend's politics, and we can agree to disagree. Freely. Without fear of reprisal for stating our beliefs. Our differences all grounded in our common freedom.

I sit here now and "Band of Brothers" is playing on the television behind me. I admit that I cannot watch this series, any of it, without getting all misty in the eyes. The idea that these men, these brothers, could fight and bleed and die for one another touches me in a deep place that I do not go to often with others. It is the place within me that still thinks honour and chivalry are not dead relics. It is the place within me that knows that people like my friend will never truly be able to appreciate their freedom because they have not had to sacrifice for it. Fortunate for us all there have been legions of men and women who have made that sacrifice for us all so we don't have to. None of us will ever know the depth of their valor, their dedication or the love and brotherhood they shared. The price asked of them was great. Their wages were in blood, toil and agony. Anyone feel like taking a trip with me? I am thinking of somewhere like Normandy, Bastogne, Haguenau, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Bunker Hill and Valley Forge. Does anyone care to ride?

This image is my father's flag. It flies outside my parents' home everyday. My father was a Green Beret. He is also one of my heroes now that I am old enough and far enough past rebellion to understand our differences. Keep ole glory flying dad.

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image created using Holgaroid camera


Anonymous Darlahood said...

It is an unfortunate generalization that artists are politically 'left of center.'

The bittersweet ostracization of being both an artist, and yet having traditional personal values is something I think about every day.

1:42 PM  

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