An artist recently “modified” an American flag, which was flown high on the University of Kansas campus, in order to inspire unity in America amidst a deeply divided political landscape. She failed horribly.
According to the Washington Examiner, German artist Josephine Meckseper dribbled blank paint all over an American flag roughly in the shape of the United States divided in half — it’s hard to tell. She also painted a black and white striped sock in the corner.
“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,” Meckseper explained.
“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 continued.
Her words did not convey a unifying message.
She added, “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. It’s about time for our differences to unite us rather than divide us.”
Many observers found her artwork very polarizing, especially because she chose to deface a U.S. flag and fly it in a place of honor on a taxpayer-funded campus in the Republican-dominated state of Kansas. Her message of unity didn’t even seem engineered to work.
Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer demanded it be taken down immediately, the Kansas City Star reported.
“The disrespectful display of a desecrated American flag on the KU campus is absolutely unacceptable,” Colyer said. “Men and women have fought and bled for that flag and to use it in this manner is beyond disrespectful. I have communicated with KU Chancellor Doug Girod and Board of Regents President Blake Flanders to express my disappointment that a taxpayer funded institution would allow such a display of our sacred flag."
“To those who would trample, burn, or deface the flag, thank a soldier. It hurts me to see a defaced flag fly at the University of Kansas,” wrote congressional candidate Steve Watkins on Facebook. “My thoughts turn to my friends whose coffins were draped in our flag.”
“Our flag represents the lives sacrificed to protect the very rights used to destroy it.” he continued. “I have no demands of the artist, university administration, or students, other than this — thank a soldier.”
Some University of Kansas students weren’t happy seeing the American flag defaced either.
“As a born and raised Kansan and somebody that loves being apart of this university and loves being a Jayhawk, I find this to be the exact opposite of what it means to call yourself a Jayhawk,” student Ian Ballinger told Campus Reform.
Ian Appling added, “As a U.S. Navy veteran and student at the University of Kansas currently seeking my Master's degree, I find the ‘artwork’ that currently flies at Spooner Hall heinous and abhorrent.”
The flag was installed on Independence Day, according to the Daily Caller.