white flags 2002 - present
WHITE FLAGS, an installation of all the flags of the United Nations rendered entirely in white, was inspired in the months after 9/11 as artist, Aaron Fein observed the subtle, yet undeniable change, in that most ubiquitous of post 9/11 symbols: the American Flag bumper sticker. The symbol of the flag – the one that so many Americans turned to for comfort, solace, and permanence – was slowly yet undeniably fading towards white.
This poignant image of a fully faded national flag brought great comfort to the artist and gave rise to the ensuing installation. These flags – inspired by, and reflective of – evolution’s constant change, are a hopeful symbol that, in the face of continued and dramatic change, people the world over might ultimately see themselves as members of a single human family.
Twelve years after their inception, the flags continue to have a rich life, with displays in whole and in part, indoors and out, nationally and internationally. They have provided settings for stage productions, and content for classroom discussions. Their creation was aided by community sew-ins and their spirit enhanced through their use in public gatherings. Currently the flags are in Jerusalem, Israel where the artist is in residency with the Muslala group.
The artist is indebted to the many volunteers, sponsors, and active participants who have helped White Flags grow in ways both big and small.
If you’d like to support the growth of White Flags you can contact the artist directly about hosting an exhibition or sponsoring an individual flag for $250. You can also make a tax–deductible donation of any amount here*.
If you’d like to follow along, please visit White Flags on Facebook!
For full size images of the work please visit the photo gallery.