Patriots in the Heartland are furious after the University of Kansas raised a defaced American flag on campus. And it was intentional.
The flag, defaced with what looks like black paints and the incongruous image of a sock, is part of an art installation hosted by the Spencer Museum of Art called, “Pledges of Allegiance.”
One of my readers passed along photos of the red, white, blue and black flag flapping in the breeze. And like any right-thinking, red-blooded American patriot he was enraged.
“I’m ashamed to be a Jayhawk,” he told me. “Wake up, America.”
The defaced and desecrated flag is the work of Josephine Meckseper, according to Creative Time, a public arts organization.
“The flag is a collage of an American flag and one of my dripped paintings which resembles the contours of the United States,” Meckseper said in a post on Creative Time’s website. “I divided the shape of the country in two for the flag design to reflect a deeply polarized country in which a president has openly bragged about harassing women and is withdrawing from the Kyoto protocol and UN Human Rights Council.”
So she defaced Old Glory to take a cheap shot at President Trump? How avant-garde.
But that still doesn’t explain the black and white sock printed onto the side of the Star-Spangled Banner. Static cling, perhaps? Maybe she ran out of Bounce?
“The black and white sock on my flag takes on a new symbolic meaning in light of the recent imprisonment of immigrant children at the border,” she said.
I’m not sure I follow the symbolism unless the illegal immigrants are crossing the border sockless.
“Let’s not forget that we all came from somewhere and are only recent occupants of this country – native cultures knew to (take) care of this continent much better for thousands of years before us,” she said. “It’s about time for our differences to unite us rather than divide us.”
Speak for yourself, Ms. Meckseper.
A university spokesperson said the photo is of a display from the nationwide "Pledges of Allegiance" public arts project that went up July 5 and is at 13 locations nationwide.
The university said the exhibit is being funded by private donations.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach tells me he is outraged by the exhibit.
"It's outrageous that you would see a public university displaying a desecrated flag," said Kobach, a Republican who is running for governor. "The fact they call it art does not make it any less of a desecration of our flag."
Kobach said it was "doubly outrageous" that the flag is being flown at a university supported by taxpayer funds.
"I call upon the university to take down that exhibit right away," he said. "It's inexplicable why they think it is OK to display an American flag in this manner."
It is unfortunate the University of Kansas has chosen to associate itself with an artist who despises the very nature of what it means to be an American.
“This is heinous,” one critic wrote on Facebook. “Publicly-funded, anti-American garbage from my alma mater.”
Someone should let the grownups in charge of Jayhawk Country know that when you pledge allegiance to the flag you do it out of love for your country, not hate.