Flag Gate


Flag Gate, 1876, Unknown Artist

Flag Gate, 1876, Unknown Artist

I’m going to take tomorrow, Friday, off from work and get a jump on the 4th of July holiday weekend. By doing so, I’ll likely get at least one sunny day during this weekend. They are forecasting up to 8” of rain here this holiday. Now, we need the rain, but couldn’t it wait until after the holiday? Also occurring this weekend will be the big Saint Louis 4th of July festival. Again, it is being held in Forest Park, because of continuing construction on the Arch grounds. I think that this will be the third and final year for this venue. I’ve been out-of-town during the two previous iterations and was looking forward to checking the event out, but not if it is raining. Fortunately, while there will be long periods of rain, they are not forecasted to be all day events. Think of a series of waves crashing upon us. Hopefully, the intervening dry times can be taken advantage of and I can get out and enjoy the cool weather that will be also accompanying all of this wet.

The pictured American flag gate is probably the signature artwork in the American Folk Art Museum exhibit, currently on display at the Saint Louis Art Museum. It was created in 1876, in way upstate New York. Made in the year of our country’s first centennial, it has thirty-seven stars on one side and thirty-eight on the other. Colorado entered the union in 1876. I like how each of the stripes have been separately carved, with rippling waves so that the flag seems to be blowing in the breeze. 140 years ago, some unknown, but creative mind transformed what could have been just a common farm gate into an artistic and patriotic statement. The piece shows the maker’s pride in country. Have a great 4th of July! The photo has been colorized to restore it to its original splendor.

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