On Memorial Day we remember those who have died in service to our country; flags are flown at half-staff until noon to honor them.
It is unlawful to wear a flag as a garment (Section 8d of the Flag Code), but during the 1950s, artist Jasper Johns created flags as works of art by incorporating wax encaustic, oil, and collage on fabric. The area with the collage was made from found material, in this case, newspaper.
"Flag" (1954-55), as it is simply named, was mounted on plywood. This patriotic work can be seen at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
In 1955 Jasper Johns created a larger work called "White Flag." The materials he used were: wax encaustic, oil, newsprint, and charcoal. This was then mounted on canvas. After having a dream about the American flag, Jasper Johns was inspired to represent the flag as a cultural icon. In "White Flag," the artist took away the familiar image and concentrated on decorating the three separate panels. The stars and stripes are still there, but the viewer must look more closely. I think it is an artistic triumph to create a work of art that is instinctively recognizable, despite its lack of identifiable detail (the red, white, and blue stars and stripes). "White Flag" can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
You can own "Three Flags" - Pop Art Poster by Jasper Johns, available here from Amazon.com.
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