|Jennifer Lanski||• • • •|
|U.S. Flag Code Series|
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“3511 Texas St.” ⋅ Fountain pen, india ink, and colored pencil on BFK Rives paper ⋅ 16” × 22” ⋅ 2006–2007
The sections of the flag code that were used are those detailing how the flag should be displayed and treated, and how these given rules and customs may be changed; divided into subsections there are 37, hence 37 drawings. (The sections of the flag code describing what the flag should look like, etc., were not included.)
The drawings were inspired by the artist's walks around her neighborhood, and the observation that many residences chose to display the American flag (and not just on special days when it is especially recommended in the flag code), which was a notable and obvious difference from other neighborhoods in which the artist had previously resided. Contemplating the intentions or message of each individual residence displaying the flag, the artist researched the established rules and practices governing the display of the flag, collected and specified as rules and customs without the force of law, in the U.S. Flag Code. Interestingly, some residences violate one or more of these rules, likely through their ignorance of the flag code rather than willful disrespect. Also interesting is the number and specificity of the rules and customs governing the display of the flag, which for many Americans is a symbol of freedom (rather than rules and restrictions). This is in contrast to the ways flags are perceived in some other countries; in the Netherlands, for example, the flag is most commonly displayed in celebration of an event, such as a birthday, marriage, or graduation. And there is no long list of codified rules about its use and display.
The drawings are black and white, with the exception of the flag(s), which are drawn in color, to call attention to this important element in the drawing and reason for choosing the specific residence to depict. Some residences displayed other flags in addition to the American flag; these are also depicted in color.
A selection of drawings from the “U.S. Flag Code” series has been exhibited in Los Angeles.
Copyright © Jennifer Lanski, 2004–2018