Monday, November 10, 2014

Factory Flag



PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOURNAL: Yesterday's flagpole image was composed on a melancholy walk around the empty campus of American Brass / Anaconda. The empty flagpole begs numerous questions at what they say was once the largest, busiest brass manufacturing plant in the world, a place where the American Dream was designed, assembled, and tested.  

Until I walked up Liberty Street, I never realized the company had a flagpole, though I’ve long been aware of the immense part this factory and the Valley played during both world wars. In the four years I photographed here I don’t think I ever saw a flag flying; the administration had already moved out, so the flagpole was positioned facing a locked gate. 

Of course the men carrying out the final shut-down of the brass mill remember when the flag was raised and lowered daily, and they can name the men who did it, but even they have no knowledge of this mysterious memorial in the long-closed rod mill. Who placed the flag and when? - here in a west-facing window of one of the great basilicas of Brass Valley. What special resonances does it gather here? What is the music playing?



4 comments:

Ginnie said...

WOW! Are you saying it "suddenly" appeared and no one knows how or when, Ted? Do you remember when it wasn't there and how long ago that was? It does make you wonder. How significant, then, that you "captured the flag." :)

Emery Roth II said...

I spotted the flag over the summer. Never noticed before that whether it was there or not, but I didn't spend much time shooting in this mill then.

I haven't thought of "Capture the Flag" in decades. Hey! Just realized we've reached an age where we can speak of our memories in decade multiples.

Ginnie said...

HA! We're as young as we feel, Ted. :D Did you know I hit the BIG 70 next year? For some reason, that feels a bit bigger than all the other ones. YIKES.

Emery Roth II said...

You're a year ahead of me. I will enter my 70th year as you turn 70. However, the BIG one was when my brother turned 80.