I've never witnessed a more polarized era than the last decade. I thought I knew what it meant to be American, but with all the strongly opposing viewpoints, I began to question and to feel that maybe I didn’t know at all.
With this project, I wanted to explore if there were commonalities across diverse Americans, across the American experience. In each portrait, I asked the subject to hold an American flag as a unifying element for the series. During the photo sessions, I photographed and interviewed subjects, usually in their homes, about their backgrounds, dreams, about America, and about how they felt holding the flag. Most people are not flag-wavers, so being asked to do this gave them pause—an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be American.
Their answers were as diverse as they were. Many times, because of the chaotic age we we're living in, politics entered their replies. Further, I discovered that each person’s feeling about America were quite personal. I learned that politics as we see through the media, is not, for most, reflective of their feelings, which are far more nuanced, often undeclared, and sometimes highly emotional.
This series, for me, underscored more than ever the true diversity across Americans. And, while an ideal of America loosely holds us together, our thoughts on how to get there are, happily, unique and, sadly, divided.