Artist's Flag Stirs Controversy

Some call it their First Amendment right and some are calling it just plain wrong. But an art exhibit in Carrboro is at the center of some controversy.

Town officials say they had to remove this piece of art, which is an American flag with the stars arranged with a swastika. Eyewitness News reporter Emily Lopez has the mixed reactions from Carrboro.

Hunter Levinsohn is always busy creating things in her art studio. But one of Hunter's creations, this political piece of art, a framed American flag with the stars arranged in a swastika, has left some towns people in Carrboro asking why?

Hunter says she made the piece back in 1990, when the first Bush administration was making an effort to penalize flag burners. "The piece was a protest of that proposed flag amendment. I thought it was an infringement on First Amendment rights."

The piece was dusted off and brought back out, when a member of the Carrboro Arts Committee asked for political art to decorate the Carrboro Town Hall for the Fourth of July.

Hunter's artwork is causing quite a stir in fact it's no longer in plain view. "I think there were some people who found the piece disturbing."

So the piece was relocated from the boardroom to the mayor's office. The interim town manager told Eyewitness News: "The town attorney made the recommendation that the artwork be relocated because it might offend some people. The purpose of the artwork is to dress up and beautify the town hall not to offend anyone."

"On one hand I'm upset because people don't get to see it, but that's the point of it." Hunter says, oddly enough, the piece has achieved its purpose.

The artwork will eventually be moved back into the boardroom into a less visible spot.

Online producer: Shaun Chavis Benchi


Last Updated: Jul 11, 2003

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 Friday, July 11, 2003
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