Triggers Flag or Anti-Flag


I have been thinking about what it would look like to combine a bunch of trigger symbols into one flag that might summarize many “anti-sentiments.” It really started when observing the public recognition of the hatred represented by the confederate flag. Especially considering the unthreatening ways the confederate flag had inadvertently been used throughout recent past. Political figures have used the flag when campaigning in that part of the US, and Tom Petty had used it as a backdrop to enhance the feel of his 1980 tour.


This attempt at making a visual flag from scratch was partly inspired by the Navajo Nation chapter flags. They seem to be very graphically suited to tell a story. I have become familiar with while working on the rez in recent years. The circle aesthetic is the main derivation. I also was hoping to create a hierarchy of images that are seen in a way that unfolds slowly to reveal layers of symbols.

Navajo Nation Flag

I don’t come from the southern part of the country, and being from California the Confederate flag means little to me besides representing a few states, and a type of rebel mentality. It is interesting how quickly our vernacular will tilt and a word or a symbol become verboten. I can understand an outpouring of sentiment in all of the recent horrible shootings and violence, but it seems to me that we attribute too much emphasis on identifying a symbol to quickly “isolate” a problem, hence solution. The gun is the problem, the flag is the problem, money is the problem, drugs are the problem, fast food is the problem—when it’s really a humanity problem.


These symbols only have the power we give them. In time, none of them may carry any cache at all. It’s provocative how these become such hot buttons and are so divisive.

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