Flags

“Territory”

“Territory” | 1997 | 27" x 19" | mixed media on paper

“Birds of America”

“Birds of America” | 2000 | 12" x 16" | acrylic on paper

“Genomes and Daily Observations (Flag)”

“Genomes and Daily Observations (Flag)” | 2005 | 10" x 14" | mixed media on paper

“Common Ground”

“Common Ground” | 2006 | 10" x 14" | mixed media on paper

“Patriot Act”

“Patriot Act” | 2007 | 8" x 12" | mixed media on handmade book

“Patriot Act II”

“Patriot Act II” | 2006 | 8" x 12" | mixed media on handmade book

“In the Beginning”

“In the Beginning” | 2008 | 16" x 22" | mixed media on paper

“Stars and Stripes”

“Stars and Stripes” | 2009 | 10" x 14" | mixed media on paper

“Country Living”

“Country Living” | 2010 | 6" x 9" | Mixed media (wood, leaves, acrylic on paper)

“My Country”

“My Country” | 2012 | 6" x 10.5" | mixed media on paper

“Gulf”

“Gulf” | 2010 | 22" x 30" | acrylic on paper

“Homage to Betsy Ross”

“Homage to Betsy Ross” | 2011 | 22" x 30" | acrylic on paper

“Democratic Underground”

“Democratic Underground” | 2011 | mixed media on paper

“Patriotic Fervor”

“Patriotic Fervor” | 2011 | 6.5" x 11" | Mixed media (wasp-made paper, wood, wasps)

“Political Science (Beetles with Genome)”

“Political Science (Beetles with Genome)” | 2011 | 10" x 14" | mixed media on paper

As a girl growing up in the 50s, I remember my father, a WWII veteran, unfolding the US flag on national holidays to proudly display on our house. During those early years, I, too, was a flag waver. I also had a passion for little critters — pet red-eared turtles and mice mostly, and then later wild birds. And I attended ecology workshops as a teen in the 60s. At that early age, when my membranes were still permeable, I absorbed the basic truth of life. And that truth — that all life is interconnected and dependent on healthy ecosystems — fused with my sense of patriotism. That’s what my flags are all about.

Some people comment that they think I’m being satirical with my flag images. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’m absolutely earnest, although I realize there’s a bit of playful humor in these images. But it’s “playing for mortal stakes,” as Robert Frost said of poetry. For I truly believe that the greatest act of patriotism is the protection of the environment and the diversity of life, for doing so we ensure all life might thrive. Is that not truly “justice for all?”