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My Country, My Flag

John Niewiek's avatar John Niewiek

My art project is an American Flag made from 565 feet of upcycled, used bicycle chain from local bicycle shops in West Michigan. My goal was to make the flag look like a well worn flag that has been flying. Therefore the patina is of muted colors with some chain showing no color. The end of the flag has been made to look like it has ripped from years of use. The flag weighs 94 lbs. There are approximately 19,350 TIG welds in the construction. Each chain link is welded to the link on either side of it and each row of chain is welded to the one above and below it. Each bike chain link consists of 8 parts which translates to approximately 56,500 pieces of metal in the flag. The flag was welded face down so that the welds are on the back side of the flag. The final image of the flag was not revealed until the welding was complete and it was removed from the fixture.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 3 inches
  • Medium: Upcycled Bicycle Chain
  • Width: 5.5 ft
  • Year created: 2017
  • Height: 3 ft