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Stephen Kroninger
Killed Flag
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Earlier this year I was contacted by Madeline Kelty on behalf of Maria Keehan, the art director of Smithsonian magazine, to participate in a project celebrating the 200th anniversry of the star spangled banner. Their concept was to create a portfolio of work based on the flag that flew over Fort McHenry and inspired Francis Scott Keyes to write the Star Spangled Banner. Her e-mail read in part "...The way each artist chooses to interpret the flag is of course entirely up to the artist—we are open to any and all creative approaches...we are contacting...painters, sculptors, illustrators, photographers and videographers, some are clothing and jewelry designers, some are architects and movie makers, and still others are composers, musicians and poets. We would be honored if you would be one of the portfolio participants. " This is my take on that flag in the age of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. Sale stars replace the original ones on a black field representing the judges robes and pin stripes replace its red bands. As is evident by These Artistic Interpretations of the Star-Spangled Banner Call Out the Inner Patriot it wasn't exactly what they were looking for and it didn't run. That's fine. In the old days, killed pieces  were  tossed in a drawer never to be seen again. In these days unpublished work often finds its way to sympathetic eyes via the internet. Even unsympathetic eyes. The only difference I would have with the Smithsonian is the implication that my piece is unpatriotic as was suggested in a phone call I received from someone with the magazine prior to publication. What's more patriotic, more American, than dissent? In fact, four supreme court justices dissented with the majority on the ruling that inspired my flag. "O say, can you see..."

 The flag that flew over Fort McHenry.


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