May 12, 2011

Photo of the Week: May 12, 2011

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: A few years ago I borrowed an American flag from a former Navy SEAL who gently cautioned me to return the flag in the same pristine condition in which I was receiving it. The shoot also required an Israeli flag and I couldn't help but notice the difference in quality between the two flags. Made in China, the Israeli flag was thinner and duller in color, and, for what it represented, a lot less distinguished.

During my years living in the United States, I don't recall ever seeing a flag displayed that wasn't in perfect or near-perfect condition. It may even be illegal to display an American flag that is damaged, I don't know. Here in Israel, for the past decade, I have been collecting pictures of torn and tattered flags, battered by wind, rain, and sun, some barely recognizable.

I am myself torn about what to do with these pictures. I don't like to think that they symbolize the state of the nation as we celebrate our 63rd year of modern statehood. Rather, I prefer the "glass is half full" view, as depicted by this photo, where the flag's main elements are still vibrant and intact. Although Israel's history has been fraught with tragedy and challenge, and we remain an imperfect nation, still, we are a nation of laudable character and integrity, a bright-burning light unto the world.

Chag Sameach - Happy Independence Day. Click here to view a gallery of Israeli flags in all manner of beauty and decay.

Technical Data: Nikon F3, 135mm lens, f8 @ 1/125 sec., ISO 100.