Weathered and pitted with history the reclaimed wood of the the disappearing Midwest barn is the inspiration and the canvas for Marie Roth’s hand painted tributes to Old Glory. Each American flag comes with a short bio of the barn where the wood originated and story of the flag design. From the Betsy Ross to the 50 star, each flag is truly a unique embodiment of history.
The 23-star flag becomes the official flag of the US on July 4, 1820, recognizing the admission of AL and ME to the Union. This is not the official arrangement of stars since until 1912 there is no mandate for the arrangement of the stars other than white stars in a blue field. This is a watershed moment in American history with the divisions between slave and free states becoming ever deeper. From the very inception of the federal government at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, the rights of African Americans were sacrificed in favor of a stronger union among the states. The issue exploded again when Missouri applies for admission to the United States as a slave state. Marie chose this particular wood for this flag because when we reach the Missouri Compromise, we have drawn lines in the country–like the lines in this siding–that cannot be repaired and set the stage for the Civil war. The very fabric of the Union is fragile and beginning to fray. Some believe the designer of this flag was attempting to depict the two “circles” of North and South within the four corners of the United States.
This flag is painted on siding from a barn built in Racine County, WI c. 1877 probably by Herman Frank. Frank was a German immigrant who began farming on the East Coast but was attracted to the rich soil of the Midwest and the liberal constitution of WI that allowed immigrants the right to vote. After two generations, this farm was purchased by the Henkel’s. The Guckenberger’s lived on the farm next door and two of their children married. It was their intention to stay in Racine and continue to farm. Mr. Guckenberger’s Dad convinced them that farming was a perilous life with financial disaster looming at every harvest. So, young Mr. Guckenberger and his new wife (and eventually their children) spent the next 30 years in the US Air Force traveling the world on its orders. But, like George Washington, Mr. Guckenberger served his country well but always wanted to go home to farm. When his Dad passed away, he divided the estate with his brother and became a farmer. They also inherited the Hinkel Farm and now raise corn and soy on the joined properties.
|Dimensions||12 x 12 x 12 in|