S Mark Gubb
25th September - 28th November 2010
Usher Gallery, Lincoln
S Mark Gubb was commissioned in collaboration with the Usher Gallery to develop a series of flags, which flew atop the building for 10 weeks. This marked the launch of the gallery’s reopening after its refurbishment. Gubb used the project as an opportunity to explore the history and representation of national identity within the Union Jack. Each flagpole held an alternative historical variation on the standard Union flag design.
Flying at the front of the building were two designs The Welsh Dragon and The Scottish Union flag. Former Wrexham Labour MP, Ian Lucas, designed the Welsh Dragon flag to highlight the lack of Welsh representation within the current flag. At the back of the building the Protectorate Jack and Re-flag flew. The Protectorate Jack was produced to rectify the underrepresented of the Kingdom of Ireland. Despite being used for just under a 100 years the Irish arms was removed in 1660, following the restoration of the monarchy under King Charles II. In 1707 the present day flag was redesigned and became the official Union Jack.
Re-flag is the most resent adaptation of the Union Jack. The 2003 design aimed to address the diversity of a multicultural Britain with the introduction of the colour black. The design was criticized for over simplifying the issues surrounding racial equalities.
The flags were launched with a ceremony in front of the gallery where traditional cakes from the four nations were served, and a bugler played as the flags rose.