This is a Red Flag

This is a Red Flag

Colour from the earth,

made by the community,

advocating for change today.

Will you hoist the flag?


Each year, artist Freddie Yauner undertakes ‘Morris-anuary’: a three month homage to William Morris from 1st January to 24th March (Morris’s birthday), where he attempts to ‘become’ Morris whilst making new works. Immersing himself in the creative outputs, principles and vision of Morris and exploring how they can be applied to contemporary society.

Beyond the textile patterns he is best known for, William Morris was a social reformer and forerunner of the modern green movement. Freddie’s obsessive interest stems from Morris’s extraordinary breadth of practice and his ability to present an alternative to how we might live - bringing creativity, meaningful work and the natural world together for the wellbeing of all people and nature.

During Spring 2024, Freddie worked with the community at Leyton Boundary Garden, where they harvested the roots of a plot of madder plants to naturally dye a large community-made red flag. Red flags are a general warning that things are not OK, they are used to warn of poor water quality, to stop car races or for union strikes. They are used to flag inappropriate behaviour online or language that hints at unfolding problems.

Throughout the process of digging, grinding and dying, conversations around what community participants felt were their personal ‘red flags’ were held, and recorded, covering biodiversity loss, rising sea temperature, social intolerance and extreme heat to name a few. Just as Morris advocated for change in his lifetime, this flag is a means of sharing a message from communities advocating for change today.

The flag was first flown at the William Morris Gallery, and is now touring institutes and organisations - hung in prominent places on their buildings - to provide an opportunity to share what their own ‘red flags’ are.


Will you fly the flag - this multifaceted warning from the community, and advocate for positive change?


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