Soviet Flag—Prototype, 2003–2008

In 1996, I visited Czech Republic for the first time after 16 years. I was hanging out with my cousin Martin and his friend Mamut in the town of Žatec. It was enough time after the Velvet Revolution that we thought the Soviet flag was pretty funny and I ended up finding one in an old storage shed at a camp. I thought, “people actually had to fly this flag.” But what about the college students willingly wearing the hammer and sickle logo around Main Street in Vancouver? And the one clothing shop on the same street using the Soviet hammer and sickle in their window display. Our generation of trivially worried North Americans is bombarded by symbols; these kinds don’t mean anything anymore. Even though Josef Stalin starved 11 million people under the same flag, the symbol remains to show that the wearer is “not taking life too seriously.” By 2006, I added 12 more flags to this series but it won’t be finished until I can bombard myself with symbols until they don’t mean anything to me anymore.