Skip to content

Wave a Flag

A prompt to encourage your practice of creativity this week from Riversider and local author Larry Burns.

Do you need a low stress way to include seven minutes of creative contemplation into your week? Consider this your helpful nudge towards a slightly more creative life. If it helps, come back every week for a quick hit of creative contemplation. Each week I’ll share a new nudge. It will include a Thing (T), a Place (P), and a Sense(S) for your focus, a TPS creative nudge.

As we approach the joyous celebration of July 4th, flags unfurl across our city, adorning homes, public spaces, cars, and clothing with vibrant symbols of unity and pride. Like the Little Free Libraries we explored last week, flags are powerful expressions of identity, representing diverse communities, values, and histories. This week's creative nudge invites us to delve into the world of flags, exploring their meaning and significance, and empowering us to create and connect with others using our own unique expressions.

Flags are more than just pieces of cloth; they carry the stories and aspirations of a nation, a community, or an individual. The recent addition of commemorative flags flying above Riverside City Hall celebrates the diverse tapestry of our community, embracing the values and beliefs that make us who we are. As we observe and engage with flags, we have the opportunity to reflect on them through creative exercises.

To make the most of your celebrations this week, consider following activities that embrace the spirit of flags and creative expression:

  1. Design Your Flag: Create a flag that represents your own values, beliefs, or aspirations. Use colors, symbols, and shapes to convey your unique identity. Reflect on what is important to you and how you wish to be represented. The City of Riverside’s Human Relations Commission recently encouraged city leadership to solicit design ideas for several commemorative flags that will fly above city hall in 2024.
  2. Innovative Flag Display: Explore inventive ways to display flags. Experiment with different materials, textures, and locations to demonstrate your pride. Consider hanging them in unexpected places, contrasting with similar works, or incorporating them into artwork.
  3. Discover Flag Stories: Research the history and meaning behind a flag that resonates with you. Uncover the stories and narratives that have shaped its symbolism, cultural significance, and historical relevancy.
  4. Flag Montage Photography: Capture the essence of flags through photography. Explore your community or other locations to find a diverse array of flags. Document their colors, patterns, and textures, curate a photo montage, and reflect on the collective identities they represent.

Through these activities, we explore the profound symbolism and creativity embedded within flags. We celebrate the power of visual representation, recognizing that flags serve as bridges between individuals, communities, and cultures. They offer us a canvas to express our values, embrace our heritage, and engage in meaningful dialogue with one another.

As you delve into the world of flags, take a moment to reflect on the stories and values they hold. Embrace the opportunity to express yourself, connect with others, and celebrate the rich tapestry of our shared humanity through the medium of flags.

Note: portions of this prompt created using the tool ChatGPT.