Gallery of the re-interpreted American flag

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1st place winner Phyllis Wang, 18, Pilgrim School

Flag, n. — a piece of cloth, often attached to a staff, with definite colors, patterns or symbolic devices, used as a national or state symbol, or to indicate membership in an organization.

What does it mean to be American? The L.A. Youth contest to redesign the American flag asked teen artists to figure out what the flag meant to them. From early American flags which featured native animals such as rattlesnakes and beavers, to the continuing addition of stars as more states joined the union, the American flag has always been in a state of evolution. In this contest, high school students offer these ideas about where the American flag should go next.

The entries came in a variety of media—acrylic paint, photos, colored pencils, markers, ink, pastels. First place winner Phyllis Wang painted her own face, photographed herself with a digital camera, and manipulated the image using a software package called PhotoShop.

From more than 100 entries, the L.A. Youth teen staff chose the following three winners, as well as 13 honorable mentions. Each winner and his or her instructor received gift certificates from Graphaids or Pearl Art & Craft Supplies.

1st place winner Phyllis Wang, 18, Pilgrim School

1st place
By Phyllis Wang, 18, Pilgrim School
Instructor: Betty Porter

America’s really multicultural, and I decided to depict that with a mask. The mask is like a face, so there are many faces. The red, white and blue symbolizes the American flag, and the red and black on the left side has an Asian feel. I chose gray for the cross because it stood out, and it’s in the middle because religion unites different people. I did one flying away, because there’s always that one different soul.