For Childe Hassam, the festive patriotic displays among the streets and skyscrapers of New York City during the World War I years proved to be very inspirational. Moved by the intense emotion and colorful spectacle of the city's Preparedness Day parade in 1916, he began to work on a series of paintings that depicted the flag draped buildings and streets of the country's largest city, a series that would eventually number at least thirty works. Hassam depicted the colorful pageantry that was present along what is most likely an area of Fifth Avenue, looking down from West Forty-ninth Street. The flags on display include those of several nations including Great Britain and France, along with the Red Cross banner and the United States Navy jack. Looming prominently above the scene is the flag of New York City, with its blue, white and orange colors contrasting sharply with the white sky in the background. While the American flags in the composition are smaller in size, they are represented in sufficient quantity to clearly underscore the patriotic emphasis of the painting.


  • Title: Lincoln's Birthday Flags - 1918
  • Creator: Childe Hassam
  • Date: 1918
  • Physical Dimensions: w24.25 x h36.25 in.
  • Credit Line: Gift of Ruth Woods Dayton
  • Type: painting
  • Medium: oil on canvas

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