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flag neglect....
Posted By: dcmsox2004, 11-09-2009, 06:33 AM

this neglected flag was atop an old tugboat in the providence harbor, providence r.i.
soapbox time... this always raises my blood pressure....

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11-11-2009, 12:36 PM   #16
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How about this great photo by Paul Fusco.




Paul Fusco - USA. Washington DC. 2002. A young man with a red bandana covering his face drags an American Flag behind him at a rally for US support of Israel in the West Bank.


11-11-2009, 01:15 PM   #17
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1, I wouldn't call that a "great" photo, just a "provocative" one. From a technical perspective it is little more than a snapshot. It's value lies solely in it's newsworthyness.

2. Thanks to the U.S. Constitution people are free to do this in the U.S. It is a major strength of this country that people are free to express their displeasure with our government's policies in such ways. Does that mean I like what this young man is doing? Not in the least, but I do support strongly his right to do it. Thats one of the things you do in a free society.

Mike

Last edited by MRRiley; 11-12-2009 at 08:51 AM. Reason: damned typos
11-12-2009, 04:43 AM   #18
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I think its a great photograph, 'cos he happens to be there and to witness this event. I take it that this sort of thing rarely happens in your country. I don't think its provocative at all, its jus' a documentary photograph IMO.

The demonstrator is in a huge public area, and no-one seems to have noticed the stars and stripes draggin' along the ground behind this dude. I wonder if they did before this photograph was taken, or will do after.
By the looks of things he is walkin' away from the event and not to it, cannot be sure though.
He looks far away from the protest, judgin' by the peacefulness in the park and the tourist coaches on the horizon.

This photograph says a lot to me.
11-12-2009, 05:15 AM   #19
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The Dutch do have a very strict flag protocol which includes instructions on when to use the additional orange banner that signifies the Royal Family. All of the general rules apply, including the instructions that the national flag should not be displayed after sunset or before sunrise.

By nature of the Dutch national history, no pledge of allegiance is customary or required. The number of people who display the national tricolor on holidays (queen's birthday, liberation day etc.) is on a steady decline.

I have the advantage of being able to view from several standpoints as I lived abroad for quite a long time and served in the IDF, the Israeli Army, in a combat function. In Israel, respect for the flag is more similar to the situation in the US. I can remember occasions where we flew a battle-battered flag on our APC or commandpost however.

On a whole, I am somewhat ambivalent to the issue. The flag as such is a national symbol deserving of at least some amount of respect but I would stop short of getting angry at seeing a flag in tatters, also as it is often used in emblems on worn-out jeans-jackets, cars, coffeemugs etc. I do fly the flag on liberation day (May 5th) in the Netherlands but not on the Queen's birthday. I suppose I am not that nationalistic.

The Dutch do have a sizable contingent of combat troops and F16's in both Afghanistan and Iraq and the importance of the flag to battle troops is quite obvious and essential from my point of view. Whether the same importance should be assigned to flags in civilian surroundings is a bit more doubtful IMHO.

Mike

11-12-2009, 08:01 AM   #20
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As if by magic, I came across an article in today's newspaper about a proposal from the Dutch extreme rightist nationalist party, the PVV, to allow/force schools to display the national flag, which is not done today. A heated discussion, with references to the German occupation in WWII, followed in the newspapers and on internet fora.

One reaction is from a professor in theoretical and intellectual history at the State University in Groningen. His explanation and comparison to the US is so pertinent to this discussion that I'd like to offer my translation of what he said as illustration to this thread:

QuoteQuote:
"Use of the national flag is seen more often in countries that are focused on issues of public interest, on the benefit of the general populace. The Netherlands is not such a country. The Netherlands is a divided country, a result of the cultural and religious divisions of the 20th. century. (My note: NL has always known a strife between protestants and catholics)

Even the idea of a "leitkultur", a generally accepted culture, as was recently discussed in Germany, seems to go too far according to the people in this country. If you, as ex-secretary without portfolio Vogelaar stated, base yourself on a jewish-christian-islamic country where all minorities can maintain their own identity, such a flag only forms an obstruction.

The United States do not have any such issue with the show of national identity through a flag. Americans always knew that they had to make a country with all kinds of different and distinct groups and that, from that mixture, unity should arise. The Dutch feel that their long and strong history should suffice for that purpose."
Interesting stuff and quite amazing it should be in a local newspaper just as this issue popped up on the Pentax forums.

I hope you find it somewhat educational as to the differences between our countries when it comes to flag display.

Mike
11-12-2009, 09:27 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulyrichard Quote
I think its a great photograph, 'cos he happens to be there and to witness this event. I take it that this sort of thing rarely happens in your country. I don't think its provocative at all, its jus' a documentary photograph IMO.

The demonstrator is in a huge public area, and no-one seems to have noticed the stars and stripes draggin' along the ground behind this dude. I wonder if they did before this photograph was taken, or will do after.
By the looks of things he is walkin' away from the event and not to it, cannot be sure though.
He looks far away from the protest, judgin' by the peacefulness in the park and the tourist coaches on the horizon.

This photograph says a lot to me.
1. The photographer happened to be there and capture the event because thats his job.
2. These kind of things happen on a fairly regular basis. Protestors in this country routinely take out their anger and frustration on our flag as a way of showing their displeasure with our government.
3. Yes it's a huge public area and its hard to see if anyone is reacting to the guy's actions. Thats one reason I do not believe it is a particularly great photo. There is no conflict or tension even though this guy was counter protesting U.S. support for Israel (assumed since a person supporting U.S. actions with Israel would be flying the flag not dragging it).
4. The moment when he met someone who objected to his desecration of the flag would have been a much better photo, IMHO.
5. No way to tell if he was walking toward or away from the Rally or how far away from it he was. The Mall is HUGE & has hundreds of tourist buses around it on any given day so those are no indicator.

Finally, I say the photo is provocative because it has provoked an emotional response... in this case "How dare he treat my flag that way?" and in this regard I suppose it serves it's purpose and is thus a "good" photograph. However, it does not rise to the level of a "great" photograph.

Mike
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