Section 176.a. of the US Flag Code: The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
On this 2018 Fourth of July our nation is in dire distress. Political polarization is the worst I’ve seen in my lifetime. Many believe the current divide is only surpassed by the Civil War era. We are conflicted not only with one another, but within ourselves.
How do we stand for what we believe in, while following the example of Christ? I don’t know. My Dad would remind me “we are in the Love and Forgiveness Business”. But, even those who profess to be Christian are splintering. One day I’m furious at all the stupid people on the other side. The next day, my heart is broken over so many broken and lost relationships. Guess the only thing I can do is pray on this 2018 Fourth of July, for God to heal our broken relationships, nation and world.
Perhaps the onerous clouds over the flag represent the breakdown of civil discourse and rise of mean-spirited nationalism, a great darkness threatening to extinguish the light of truth represented in the founding principles of our great country and others throughout the world. Lord, we pray for the patience, humility and an open heart from which to hear and understand one another. But also, give us strength to stand united, firmly, against absolutism, intolerance and ignorance.
US Flag Day 2018 Composition 1
On a lighter note – Flag Day in the United States falls on June 14th each year. On June 14th, 1777 the Second Continental Congress adopted the United States flag. It wasn’t until 1916 that Flag Day was officially declared, by Woodrow Wilson who was the United States president at the time.
These photos don’t really give a sense of the scale of this enormous flag at Camping World on I-40 in Greensboro. I believe this flag is at least 100 feet (30 meters) across!
While working on this towards the end of my intentional color workflow, I accidentally applied a b&w filter. Immediately, I was convinced to go back and also apply my typical monochrome workflow. Color or monochrome? Both have their merits. Obtaining a pleasing color balance in the color version was quite challenging. I may go back and work on it more with fresh eyes.
In the monochrome version, I experimented with luminosity adjustments and ended up slightly dropping the red, green and blue. This helped provide some tonal separation provided naturally in the color composition.
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A few weeks ago, I visited Bailey Park and the old R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Bailey Power Plant in Winston-Salem. As part of the renovation effort in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, the plant is being converted into retail space. With much of the exterior work complete on the northern end of the property, the grounds are now open to walk around. The image below, of the southern side of the property, was captured at sunset.
The cirrus clouds and jet contrails contributed to the dramatic skyscapes in both compositions. Looking back towards the old R.J. Reynolds Tobacco building from Bailey Park, I captured the image below. The post and images also represent the decline of the tobacco industry as a significant regional economic driver.