The Flag Project

A free exhibition from
Sept. 10 through Sept. 26.

The opening
Friday, Sept. 10 (6-8 PM) & Saturday, Sept. 11 (2-4 PM).

Saturday September 11 marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

Gallery hours
Saturdays & Sundays (2-4 PM)
through Sept 26.

The gallery will also be open from 12-1 PM on Sunday, Sept 19 before Let’s Dance in the Alley. You can arrange a private viewing weeknights by visiting The ArtifFactory website.

Photos in The Flag Project were taken in the days and weeks following Sept. 11, 2001 by current Iowa City residents Sharon Beckman, a Creative Director who was living and working in midtown Manhattan, and Ron Pile, a United Airlines pilot who was flying on 9/11. There was patriotism and flag-waving throughout the country, but Beckman and Pile were surprised by the patriotic fervor sweeping New York City. Flags sprouted on cars and buses, fire escapes, scaffolding, windows, statues, museums and offices, showing the world that New Yorkers were Americans first and New Yorkers second.

It seemed everyone in New York City knew someone, or knew someone who knew someone, who was in the towers when the planes crashed into them. New Yorkers’ response was to volunteer: to give blood; to give time loading food, gloves, and saline solution for the emergency workers; to give money if not sweat; to bring flowers to firehouses; to create personal memorials along the sidewalks. And to display American flags, on their fire escapes, scaffolding, windows, on their cars, bicycles, motorcycles, on their statues and museums and offices, and on their hearts.

Sharon Beckman, at the time a Creative Director working and living in midtown Manhattan, and her then boyfriend, now husband, Ron Pile, a United Airlines pilot, documented these flags in the days and weeks following Sept. 11. Beckman and Pile now live in rural Iowa City.