A Catalog of Imaginary Flags

Holland Hopson

A Catalog of Imaginary Flags is a software-based artwork that invites visitors to create a digital flag for themselves or their community. Using existing flags as templates, visitors can alter the original design’s colors, position, size and iconography. Some flags are transformed beyond recognition to become new symbols. Other flags are ‘hacks’ or ‘tweaks’ of a recognizable flag, subtly altering the original’s meaning. In this way, the piece addresses personal and communal identity and speaks to concerns of tribalism and the power of symbols. Each user-created flag is posted to a Twitter account (@imaginaryflags), which also serves as a catalog of previously created flags. The work was made with Processing, an open-source tool for artists and designers.