Photo Journal Mondays: Thomas Alleman
Our American flag---a grand design---is used in a variety of ways by a variety of Americans for a variety of reasons, and it goes along willingly. People fly it reflexively, on annual occasions, and sometimes with great feeling in a given historical moment. Some use it as a cudgel, as a patriotic litmus, as a totem, as a version of sheep's clothing.
Often, it's used as an accessory to advertisement and self-promotion, as a signifier of personal status. In many of these pictures, the flag is a piece of cloth---or several, sewn together---and it's deployed in deference to gravity, hanging by its long dimension from a rafter or the gutter on a garage; sometimes it's affixed at its short side, awaiting wind to unfurl and display it; in some of these pictures, it's "merely" represented, a silkscreen painting of itself on vinyl or a freehand rendering on the side of a building. In every case, the flag is symbolic, referential, moveable; it's message, such as that is, is in the use to which it's put by any and all, who are free to take their best shot with it.