January 13, 2011 - 6:00pm - January 14, 2011 - 8:00pm

*.flag : two evenings exploring perspectives on flags.

January 13th and 14th 2011, 6-8pm.

Basekamp - 723 Chestnut Street, 2nd Floor - Philadelphia, PA 19106

“A flag is generally used symbolically for signaling or identification. National flags are potent patriotic symbols with varied wide-ranging interpretations, often including strong military associations due to their original and ongoing military uses“. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag

It’s interesting to explore perspectives on flags nowadays, knowing that the historic period in which they were created is now in the long past.

The flag is always at the heart of relations between the citizen and the nation. In 2007, the Socialist candidate for French presidential election, Ségolène Royal, struck controversy saying all French citizens should have the French flag at home, adding, “In other countries, they put the flag in the windows on their national holiday.” In the United States of America, this kind of statement is not taboo, and is not perceived as being too patriotic.

However “The United States Supreme Court has ruled it is unconstitutional for a government to prohibit the desecration of a flag, due to its status as symbolic speech” while “French law, condemn any outrage of the French national anthem or the French flag during an event organized or regulated by public authorities.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_desecration

This difference of perception, primarily cultural has prompted this proposal of a Public School class. Thursday, 13th and Friday 14th of January, at Basekamp, three guests will present and share their experiences with flags through artistic, historical, or institutional points of view.

- The first day, Michael C. Axelrod (Development Dir. of Philadelphia Flag Day Association) will give a presentation on the first flags of America, when the rules regarding the disposition of colors, stripes and stars were not yet established. Matthew J. O’Connor (Chief Operations Officer for Humphrys Flag Co.) will bring old and new version of the same flags, and talk about the importance of the flag as a symbol as well as the changes in manufacturing technologies and the growth of the industry.


- Fayçal Baghriche is an Algerian artist who works and lives in Paris. The second day, at Basekamp and on Skype, he will present his work, and additionally use his collection of artist works which incorporate flags to talk about the symbolism of flags, and its uses in a wide variety of societal spheres.


To join the Chat the second day with Fayçal Baghriche:

* Download from skype.com if you don’t already have it
* In Skype “Add a contact”: basekamp
* Send a message when you want to join the chat, by selecting us from your
list and clicking ‘Start chat’
* We’ll add you to the text chat, and when everyone is ready we’ll start
the conference call

This event is open to the public, feel free to come and participate.