Arts in humanities - What is Ringgold conveying in The Flag Quilt about history and society:  "The stars of the flag replaced by heads of white men, she uses newspaper clippings for white...

Arts in humanities - What is Ringgold conveying in The Flag Quilt about history and society: 

"The stars of the flag replaced by heads of white men, she uses newspaper clippings for white stripes.  she includes black, yellow and purple colors with the red, white and blue tradition. What's more, in the patches representing the red stripes of the American flag, she includes designs rotted in African textile designs, and the swirly designs are also quite violent."

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As she herself has said, Faith Ringgold became involved in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. And, the passage you have quoted is from a previous response, so it is assumed that you wish more input on a particular flag quilt, as Ms. Ringgold has done other ones.

It is interesting to note that this particular flag quilt, as do others, contains fabric and/or images of both blacks and whites in metaphorical forms and colors. For instance, there are strips of fabric that are sewn together in a "string quilt" pattern composed of newspaper clippings, which are probably from reports on different civil protests as well as reports of arrests and beatings of marchers; in addition, there are multi-layers to this flag that hold metaphorical forms and colors. The heads of white men as the stars indicate that the states are run by them--the figurative and literal "heads of state"-- they are the power, while the red stripes "rooted in African textile designs" suggest the streams of blood from the freedom marchers or those made sacrificial victims of the Civil Rights marches. The imagery of red, white, and blue, symbolic of America's freedom, conjoined with black, yellow, and purple (colors of contusions) suggests the physical abuse dealt to those seeking freedom such as runaway slaves and those who lived under Jim Crow Laws as well as some who marched through the South in the 1960s. Of course, the swirly designs are expressive of the turbulence of the period.

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