Monday, July 16News That Matters

University of Kansas flies blackened American flag to represent American polarization

The University of Kansas is flying an American flag with a splattering of black paint and a black and white striped sock as part of an art exhibit on the current political climate.

German artist Josephine Meckseper designed the flag which is being flown at a dozen locations in the United States, including KU, Cornell University, Texas State University, Rutgers University, and the University of South Florida, Campus Reform reported.

Sponsored by the Creative Time Project, Meckeper said of their website, “The flag is a collage of an American flag and one of my dripped paintings which resembles the contours of the United States,” Meckseper explained on the Creative Time website. “I divided the shape of the country in two for the flag design to reflect a deeply polarized country in which a president has openly bragged about harassing women and is withdrawing from the Kyoto protocol and UN Human Rights Council.”

“The black and white sock on my flag takes on a new symbolic meaning in light of the recent imprisonment of immigrant children at the border,” Meckseper added. “Let’s not forget that we all came from somewhere and are only recent occupants of this country – native cultures knew to take care of this continent much better for thousands of years before us. It’s about time for our differences to unite us rather than divide us.”

Meckseper’s flag is part of a larger project that’s been going on since June 2017 titled “Pledges of Allegiance,” which features 16 different artists designing their own flags on issues they care about.

“We realized we needed a space to resist that was defined not in opposition to a symbol, but in support of one, and so we created a permanent space. The flag seemed an ideal form to build that space around both practically and symbolically,” Creative Time Artistic Director Nato Thompson said on the project website.

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