July 4th is a day to reflect on the principles that inspired American independence and what it means to be a steward of the best of those principles in the current moment. The holiday is sometimes used by politicians for nationalistic political grandstanding, but I think that it is important to recognize the difference between nationalism and patriotism. I created these May Day Flag variations in 2010 as a reminder that the American flag is a hollow vessel for the ideas and content we as a society fill it with. The flag is not monolithic just as our nation is not homogenous, but tolerance for diverse perspectives is a beautiful thing when it is manifested. I have long maintained a suspicion of unjust authority, but have evolved over the years to blend a questioning of narratives and structures with a sense of civic responsibility. I want to help improve the health of the society we all comprise and depend on, not for personal gain or power, but to improve our collective quality of life. We are experiencing a pervasive mass psychosis fueled by fear and disinformation, which breeds animosity, tribalism, and skepticism about truth and facts. A psychologically handicapped society cannot function properly, much less deliver solutions for the greater good. I believe in truth and democracy, which means I think that if people, regardless of political party, are given honest information and the full picture, they benefit from the power to decide on policies and leaders that shape the society we live in. We are at a critical moment for the preservation of democracy and non-partisan access to voting for all citizens of voting age. Let’s use the 4th as a reminder that democracy is a privilege that must be maintained through thoughtful action! Thanks for caring.