Here you can explore the entire DC/Adapters archive. If you're the sort to dive right in, go ahead and start scrolling and clicking on images for more information. If you'd like a little explanation about what's going on with these entries and how I'm categorizing and analyzing them, scroll below the archive to read about my classification systems.
Click on the "Images" menu to sort the archive by different categories of metadata, and click on "Charts" or "Data Table" for our first data viz efforts.
Oh, and please be patient: the images can take a minute to load. Thanks!
Since February of 2013, I've documented adapted D.C. flags. This is the entire archive. Every entry includes a photo and some information about each flag re-design, including where and when it was found, as well as extra categories of analysis. At this time, you can sort the archive by date (the default setting); who made it, by category (explained below); or the neighborhood of its location. For more specific geographical information, click on an individual image or check out the map of the whole project here. If you click on an image card, you'll see 6 categories of metadata I've been collecting: "Adaptation," "Space Type," "Producer/Subsystem," "Date Found," "ANC" (represented by D.C.'s Advisory Neighborhood Council numbering system), and "Neighborhood." While it's obvious what the last 3 of these indicate, the first 3 are categories of my own invention. Let me explain.
I’ve been trying to get a sense of what sorts of graphic adaptations tend to be the most popular. To that end, I’ve developed a coding system for the most common graphic alterations to the flag. Many of these adapted flags make more than one adaptation, so I note up to 2 adaptations per item. The current taxonomy includes this numbered coding system:
I’m also interested in what kinds of spaces the adapted flags show up in because that determines how visible they are to residents of the District. The degree of visibility tells us something, I think, about a flag's potential impact. I’m using 5 categories for this purpose:
By “producer subsystem,” I mean the category of each maker. It is possible to track down the individual makers of many of these, but I’ve been more interested in identifying who more generally tends to adapt the flag and for what sorts of purposes. Over time, 6 categories of makers emerged, and I've named them broadly by their purpose:
"Municipalish" emerged as a category because, while I've never collected actual municipal uses of the flags (that's not an adaptation, after all), there have always been city agencies or joint ventures that use adapted versions of the flag.
"Cultural consumption" also requires a little further explanation. Over time, "shop local" seemed insufficient to distinguish between something like a business that uses the flag in its branding (obviously "shop local") and a local band that uses the flag in its show bills -- the band also wants your money but they're operating differently from the store, especially in terms of relation to local culture and neighborhood change.
A next step I hope to tackle will be to create data visualizations of these patterns to see what trends emerge. I see these trends as terribly important in the sense that they will begin to tell us what we Washingtonians are really doing with our flag, and how we feel about our rapidly changing city. I can say so far, only anecdotally, that the densest clusters of flags seem to appear in neighborhoods that are experiencing the most changes (the Petworths and Shaws, rather than the Cleveland Parks). It seems likely that we residents of the District carry out our arguments about what the city should be, and whose city it is, with the flag itself in the neighborhoods most under pressure.
Here's a sample of a few early patterns, as of May 2016: