On 11 July 2018, the University of Kansas removed an altered US flag displayed on campus as part of a national art exhibition after criticism from politicians including the state’s governor Jeff Colyer, Associated Press reported.
The artwork, Untitled (Flag 2) by Josephine Meckseper, shows a striped sock and a divided, abstract map of the US on a printed graphic of the US flag. Meckseper said it reflects a “deeply polarised country”, and the sock is her take on “the recent imprisonment of immigration children at the border”.
The flag is part of the Pledges of Allegiance national art project featuring 16 flags made by 16 different artists, including Yoko Ono, to reflect the current political climate. Each flag was displayed for a time on a new flagpole erected on the campus in Lawrence, Kansas. Untitled (Flag 2) was installed on 5 July.
In a statement, Governor Colyer said: “The disrespectful display of a desecrated American flag on the KU campus is absolutely unacceptable. Men and women have fought and bled for that flag and to use it in this manner is beyond disrespectful,” according to The Wichita Eagle.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach also called for the artwork to be taken down.
Following the political criticism Untitled (Flag 2) was moved to be on display inside the university’s Spencer Museum of Art.