Test your knowledge with a quiz
Andrews, Flag Day
- In the 1960s, the Civil Rights movement promised greater equality for African-Americans, who struggled for visibility and equal rights.
- It isn’t clear how Andrews intends us to interpret the relationship between the man and the American flag in this painting. The flag may symbolize the promise of freedom and democracy, or it may suggest that the United States remains a hostile environment for African-Americans.
- The artist’s experience as the son of sharecroppers in Georgia and in the racially-divided New York art world led him to advocate for greater equality in society, as well as within the cultural sector.
More to think about
The 1960s was an era of protest by many different groups, many of which used art in their campaigns. For an artist involved in activist causes, why do you think Benny Andrews left the meaning of Flag Day so unclear?
Smarthistory images for teaching and learning:
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