Saying “The American flag is and has always been a powerful symbol of the resilient and indestructible American spirit and of the values that unite us as a people,” U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer this week urged people across the United States to prominently display an American flag, as “a fitting tribute to those we lost on 9/11” that “will make good on our promise to never forget …and will send a powerful message of ongoing national unity and resolve…From Betsy Ross to Iwo Jima to Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon, the America flag is a demonstration of pride and strength for our country…” Schumer noted.
New York City-based Americana dealer Laura Fisher of FISHER HERITAGE offers a collection of ‘flag’ textiles that can honor the anniversary of 9/11. And she reminds us that their graphic appeal and evocative imagery are perennially engaging and need not be connected only to a sad national event. Flag imagery has been adopted for quilts and other textiles in times of national celebration as well as of social change. To make a quilt with a flag or with patriotic symbols at one time was the only acceptable way for women to express their political sentiment before their right to vote was secured. These textiles have always been revered as meaningful enough to save for future generations.
Whether in exact representation with varying numbers of stars to represent the admission of a new state into the Union, or as suggested through a palette of red white and blue or through some configuration of stars and stripes, according to Fisher this symbol of the nation is a popular, highly collectable image.
The American flag graphic has appeared in textiles here over the last two centuries. Its use today is ubiquitous, even flagrant, in clothing and home furnishings, in contrast to having been considered criminal during the 1960-70s when used as other than a true flag.
Among the flag textiles available at FISHER HERITAGE are:
* a single 48-stars American flag pieced into a bed size quilt, c. World War II
* an American flags cigar box flannel “blankets” quilt c. 1915
* an 1876 centennial quilt pieced of American flag kerchiefs with a framework of the flags of nations that was exhibited in Philadelphia
* 16 parade flags in a trundle-bed-size quilt from the turn of the century
* a three-dimensional “Target” Southern quilt pieced of 1900s flag bunting
* a Navajo rug woven in wool with a canton of 6-point stars
* a crochet bedspread depicting 24 rippling American flags on poles
* a remarkable World War I crochet bedspread emblazoned “Long May She Wave” with numerous patriotic symbols and slogans
FISHER HERITAGE is located at 305 East 61st Street, New York City. Hours are Monday through Friday 10:30-4:30.
Contact Laura Fisher 212.838-2596