Flag of Remembrance

Mindy Kombert and Sherry Kronenfeld of Chappaqua, N.Y., were inspired by the proliferation of  missing persons posters around New York City to incorporate the faces of the victims into a graphic memorial. Principals in a local graphic design firm, they suspended “business as usual” to create a not-for-profit organization dedicated to making their flag a reality and conducting the sensitive outreach to families wishing to contribute pictures of their loved ones to the project.

The Flag of Remembrance was made by transferring victims’ photographs in muted tones of red, white and blue to individual pieces of fabric. The blue field with white stars was reserved for uniformed first responders while the stripes of white and red were dedicated to civilians. The result is an American flag of faces, 20 feet high by 27 feet wide. Each victim’s name and age is included. Victims for whom photographs were unavailable are accounted for with an image of a memorial candle.

Although Kombert and Kronenfeld placed pictures of civilian faces on the flag according to which flight they had boarded or where they worked, they accommodated requests from relatives who wished to alter the flag’s organizing principle by having friends and siblings placed adjacent to one another. The finished product is thus at once orderly and personal, reflecting the specific humanity of the victims and some of the webs that interconnected them.