by Carol Wells Center for the Study of Political Graphics
Friday, September 28, 2001
Contrary to our last email and newsletter, I will not be appearing on Adelphia's "Local Talk" tonight or during the coming week. My segment was cancelled today, a few hours before the taping, because the posters were deemed, "too inflammatory." Although I had been scheduled to appear weeks ago, following the September 11th terrorist actions, I selected posters that were more relevant to the moment. Given the spontaneous outpouring of U.S. flags appearing all over the country, I wanted to discuss the power of the flag as an icon, and use examples of how the flag has been transformed to make a variety of statements over the last 40 years.
The events of September 11th are devastating, and the grief I feel is profound. But popular enthusiasm in the rush to war is always aided by historical amnesia, and the role of the Center is to remind people of the real meaning of democracy and citizenship. These posters are the graphics of dissent. They remind us that citizenship is not limited to an unquestioning acceptance of what the government says and does, but includes the obligation to struggle for justice. Censorship is on quickly on the rise. It has already hit home.