American Flag with buttons for stars

Union, Aydin Hayri, 2015. Acrylic and buttons on canvas, 24” × 12”

It was inevitable that I would want to do a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, the flag of my adopted country. What I love about America is that it contains a piece of every other nation, an amalgam of all cultures, and all peoples. It is the starter home for the United States of the World. Hence the diversity among the stars, with buttons, as symbols of unity – are not the buttons the most basic fastener? Buttons were all we had before glues, zippers, and Velcro?

The course of a union, especially one of states, making an analogy to what the Bard said about love, “never runs smooths.” Hence the worn out stripes. Yet the flag is stretched by its own weight – the thread running through the eyelets pulls it tight when hanged.


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