Commemorating public safety workers directly affected by rescue and later recovery from 2001 terrorist attacks of September 21. Pictured here is an oversize US flag on the end of the ladder truck at the front of the town fire station in rural middle Michigan, looking east at the intersection of Main Street.
Seeing this prominent public display got me starting to think about all the things the flag can stand for - individual memories, shared exprience, layers of historical resonance, abstract national-ness (essence symbolized); as well as the meanings contained by critics of the US present or past actions and way of handling things. Some of these feelings and ideas may be similar in scale or degree for other flags and other peoples, while other elements may be particular to the US experience as an immigrant society of relatively few generations since its foundation.
Another flag display, this time on a private house, got me thinking more about the flag & ways that people use it to stand for one or more expressions.
Here's a first look at a list of possible connected meanings, http://www.flickr.com/photos/gpwitteveen/3985554820/
--see also 2014 video clips from the remembrance ceremonies
--see also 2016, the July 4 display:Avenue of Flags - set of cemetery festooned with U.S. flags
[at Memorial Day and again at Independence Day the hundreds of flags are placed]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lywSMljkiTU =slideshow of scenes