Betsy Ross and Muriel Stockdale have two things in common, creating flags with the hope of bringing a nation closer together.
Stockdale’s E Pluribus is a United States flag series, which expresses the many colors of patriotism found everyday in the United States.
“I started making the flags in 2003,” Stockdale explained. “When the pitch for war happened, everyone had their flags out showing support, everywhere. As an immigrant, I felt very uncomfortable about it because it seemed to me to only show a limited perspective for what the United States stands for.”
An immigrant from England, Stockdale takes great pride in being an American. She just shows it the way America is supposed to be seen, she said, “multi-colorful.”
For the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001 attacks, Stockdale is working with Charlotte’s Place, a community center opened by Trinity Church to create a new flag, “OUT OF MANY, ONE” to pay honor for the tenth anniversary of 9/11. She is accepting hand tracings from people of different cultures to construct a flag about 12 feet wide. “I wanted to make a big community flag,” she said.
Over 500 Long Island residents lost their lives during the 9/11 attacks. The 344 Nassau residents and 178 Suffolk residents who died are honored at separate memorials in each county.
“When I started making the flags, people stated to respond to them.,” she said. “People understood the idea right away and really appreciated it. Patriotism is much broader and deeper and multi-colorful than just the militaristic idea.”
The mission of E Pluribus is to speak out and celebrate diverse America and especially to point out equality within gorgeous difference of expression, she said.
“The fabrics represent that culture. Bamboo from Indonesia or African fabrics, or Japanese papers,” said Stockdale. “They expressed the idea for the idea. Open and welcoming space for people of all stripes.”
It is not too late to get involved. For those interested in being involved in OUT OF MANY, ONE, go to E Pluribus website and download a submission form.