Grand Ole Flag

As promised, today we will talk about another patriotic symbol, the American flag. We will also talk about two kinds of repetition.

Possible Classroom Concepts: Social Studies – Patriotic Symbol (American Flag), History (World War I), Woodrow Wilson, Civil War

Math – Pattern (a/a and a/b)

Possible Art Concepts: Art History – Childe Hassam, Frederic Edwin Church, Jasper Johns

Symbols, Repetition, Pattern, Texture, Encaustic

If you haven’t done so already, check out my last post to introduce Patriotic symbols.


“The Fourth of July” by Childe Hassam

Childe Hassam was an American Impressionist who painted around the time of World War I. To show his support of the U.S. joining the war, he painted thirty flag paintings similar to the one pictured above. To learn more about the artist and his flag paintings choose one of the following excellent sources:

Here is information about the thirty flag paintings:

Look here for an elementary level video:

Find a middle or high school level video here:

Look here to find a Childe Hassam interactive game:

Repetition is used abundantly in these paintings. The artist repeated the flag theme 30 times to produce this series of paintings. From an art point of view, the artist uses the repetition of the bright flags to carry the viewer’s eyes around the canvas. He also repeats people and buildings. Stars and stripes are repeated on the American flag in a/a and a/b patterns.


Frederic Edwin Church’s  “Our Banner in the Sky”

Above is a painting to commemorate the first battle of another war, the Civil War.  You can read more about it in the first paragraph of this article::

Another artist who painted the American flag was Jasper Johns. Like Hassam, he painted a series of flag paintings. Some people believe that Johns painted flags because he was named after William John Jasper. Jasper was famous for bravely raising an American flag during the Revolutionary War. Another theory as to why he painted flags is similar to Georgia O’Keefe’s feelings about flowers. People simply DO NOT pay close attention to them.

Johns was famous for painting “things the mind already knows” such as flags, targets, numbers and letters. He once said, “Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it.” And, that’s just what he did. Look here to see some different ways he painted the American flag:

Find a nice description of Johns’ most famous flag painting, “Three Flags” (more repetition) here:

I like parts of following three lessons.

I like the melted crayon in this lesson (similar to encaustic)

I like the theme of the collage in this lesson:

And I like the questions and use of repetition in this lesson:

I’m thinking combo lesson! What do you think?


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