Pitzer Hosts Second “Field of Flags” Exhibit
Sunday afternoon Pitzer’s Commencement Field was covered with 8,510 small fluttering yellow, blue, purple, and red flags. They were part of an annual exhibit called “Field of Flags” which commemorates those who lost their lives in the Holocaust.
This is the second Field of Flags event, organized by Anna Goldberg, PZ ’12. Goldberg started the event last year with fellow classmate Brianna Moffitt, PZ ’11, inspired by a similar display at Cornell University. Goldberg doubled the number of flags this year, from the 4,255 that were installed in 2011.
The event holds special meaning for Goldberg, who noted: “The Holocaust is an important part of my heritage, and I haven’t felt like there is a lot of Holocaust education on our campus. I wanted to bring something inspirational, powerful and meaningful to the 5-C’s that had to do with the Holocaust, not just something depressing.”
The thousands of brightly colored flags covered the field; but they were more than just a beautiful sight. Each had a meaning of its own. Every single flag represented 1,000 deaths and each flag was color-coded to correspond with a race or group that was persecuted by the Holocaust. One visitor to the exhibit remarked, “seeing it all laid out in front of me makes it so much more real than just seeing a figure on a page.” Even though the number of flags doubled from last year, Goldberg remarked, “it only took us one hour to put up the flags this morning because so many wonderful people came to help.”
Goldberg noted that next year Pitzer freshman Adina Wells will take over the event, which will hopefully continue for many years to come. She spoke of her hopes for the exhibit and its impact saying, “I hope that people will walk by and take a moment to think about what it represents. I also hope that people are reminded of what can occur when we don’t stand up for one another and that we need to be there for one another as a people, not just as separate groups.”
The Field of Flags will remain on display until Friday, April 20.