Flag Exchange

Date & Time
Multiple Days: 09/06/2017, 09/07/2017, 09/08/2017, 09/09/2017, 09/11/2017, 09/12/2017, 09/13/2017, 09/14/2017, 09/15/2017, 09/16/2017, 09/18/2017, 09/19/2017, 09/20/2017, 09/21/2017, 09/22/2017, 09/23/2017, 09/25/2017, 09/26/2017, 09/27/2017, 09/28/2017, 09/29/2017, 09/30/2017, 10/02/2017, 10/03/2017, 10/04/2017, 10/05/2017, 10/06/2017, 10/07/2017, 10/09/2017, 10/10/2017, 10/11/2017, 10/12/2017, 10/13/2017, 10/14/2017, 10/16/2017, 10/17/2017, 10/18/2017, 10/19/2017, 10/20/2017, 10/21/2017, 10/23/2017, 10/24/2017, 10/25/2017, 10/26/2017, 10/27/2017, 10/28/2017, 10/30/2017, 10/31/2017, 11/01/2017, 11/02/2017, 11/03/2017, 11/04/2017, 11/06/2017, 11/07/2017, 11/08/2017, 11/09/2017, 11/10/2017, 11/11/2017
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Flag Exchange

Between 2011 and 2016 artist Mel Ziegler journeyed through all 50 states and replaced distressed American flags flying at civic and private locations — city halls, post offices, hospitals, homes, and schools — with new flags. These 50 tattered flags form a powerful artwork, Flag Exchange, which spans the geography of our union, and represents the spectrum of our allegiance.

The American flag offers a perfect mirror for all of us. For citizens and others alike, it is the shining beacon of hope and resilience of the United States. It also transcends national borders as a symbol of opportunity and unnamable possibility. At the same time, for many throughout our world, this flag is a nationalist and contemptible signal of imperialism. As with the most charged and enduring symbols, it is simultaneously revered, cherished, feared, and despised — it is worth dying for.

A Living Thing: Flag Exchange at Federal Hall models the spirit in which we may continue to seek a more perfect union. Here, at the inaugural site of our democracy, Ziegler’s work presents a hopeful and direct image of these United States of America, one that is grounded in conversation with people unlike ourselves, coursing with empathy for their perspectives, and reveals the subtle yet powerfully disarming gift of creativity. Ziegler’s act of sly and generous alchemy is a potent reminder that artists do new and vital things for our public life, by finding the common ground that we have otherwise lost.


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26 Wall Street
New York, NY 10005

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(212) 825-6990

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