“For the land of the free and the home of the brave. . .”

“For the land of the free and the home of the brave. . .”

johns_flag_moma“Before I reached the border that day, I made it clear to myself that this would be for keeps. For me, it meant changing loyalty from Czechoslovakia to the United States, having America as my new Motherland. If she needed me, I would die to defend her. I felt that way when I entered in 1956 and today, as escalating anxiety and conflict threaten her freedom, I still feel ready to defend her.

It was not easy to make a covenant of that magnitude, but I knew then that I would never reclaim the country of my birth. The tragic past I would set behind me forever, and would write about it only to benefit the young; perhaps they could learn from it and avoid another war.”

–Charles Novacek (1928-2007) from Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance, Ten21 Press, 2012.

Jasper Johns (1930-    ) “Flag,” encaustic, oil and collage on fabric mounted on plywood,1954-55, Modern Museum of Art

The colors of the American flag are symbolic: red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and Innocence and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice. 

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