Collection Artwork
An abstract drawing of an American flag with “FREEDOM” written in script imposed on the stars and smaller, black cursive written through the white stripes alternating with patterned red stripes.
Faith Ringgold (Harlem, New York, New York, 1930 – 2024, Englewood, New Jersey)
Freedom Flag Story #3
felt pen, gouache on paper
frame size: 11 7/8 x 13 1/4 x 3/4 in.
paper size: 8 1/2 x 10 in.
Gift of Joel and Ann Berson

Ongoing Research

Research on our collection is ongoing. If you have resources you’d like to share, please contact Associate Curator Rebecca McNamara.

Tang Collective Catalog

With Flag Day this past weekend, I am celebrating the work of American artist Faith Ringgold. For over half a century, Ringgold’s depictions of her experience as a Black woman in the United States have challenged predominantly White narratives of national unity, equality, justice, and representation. The flag as it relates to these narratives appears often in Ringgold’s work. In 1970, she and other fellow artists were arrested for their participation in the “People’s flag show,” an exhibition at the Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square Park mounted in protest against repressive and nationalist flag desecration laws. In more recent work, Ringgold’s flags address other aspects of civil freedoms in the United States. Freedom Flag Story #3 from 2003 is from a series of flag drawings made after 9/11. About this work Ringgold remarked “[I want to] mark this place in our history so that we can comprehend what it would be like to lose the rather fragile freedoms that we do have.” In this moment, I am learning from the ways in which artists and activists challenge national symbols. As more truths of racial injustices are voiced and repeated, what symbols accurately reflect American liberty and justice? Is it time to reevaluate and revise our symbols?
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