A Leather American Flag That Articulates Our Current Anguish

Reimagining the stars and stripes using black leather and metal rivets, Bond Hardware’s Hitch Flag is emboldened and unbound, a cathartic meditation on the collective grief, struggle, and eventual liberation of the pandemic year.

Hitch Flag (2020) by Bond Hardware

Here, we ask an artist to frame the essential details behind one of their latest works.

Bio: Dana Hurwitz, 31, Brooklyn (@bondhardware)

Title of work: Hitch Flag (2020). 

Where to see it: Make an appointment to view this piece at our new studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 

Three words to describe it: Weighty, unbound, free.

What was on your mind at the time: For us, objects speak louder than words. The Hitch Flag is an emblem of the time and place it was made—New York City in 2020—as creators; as humans, grieving collectively while searching for a way to articulate the weight of shared struggle. 

To be hitched or bound is an idea we continue to reference, here as a critique of American “freedom.” What began as a cathartic exercise has become a part of our work to provoke and embody change.

An interesting feature that’s not immediately noticeable: The flag hangs facing down, with the stars on the right. An American flag hung this way, in the opposite direction required by U.S. federal code, signifies dissent towards the country or its government—a symbol of anarchy, of a people in distress. 

How it reflects your practice as a whole: The Hitch Flag is made by hand in New York during the pandemic, using sustainably sourced leather and 171 recycled hitch hardware components from past collections. We work with care and attention to be sure our impact is creative—not environmental.

One song that captures its essence: United States of Horror (Ho99o9, 2017).

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