American flags were flying everywhere during the Canaliversary event on Tuesday, August 29. The seven-foot-tall birthday cake in Buzzards Bay Park had flags flying. The tall ships had flags snapping in the breeze and venue signs had flags pointing visitors in the right direction.
There was one flag however, unlike any other: an artistic rendition of the American flag that symbolized the very same community effort and collaboration that it took to create the canal.
“My vision was to create a large, stylized American flag that would encompass the meaning of the canal to those who live in the surrounding towns,” Karen Scata Bos wrote in her mission statement to the Cape Cod Canal Centennial Committee promoting the idea of centennial art to be displayed during the Caniliversary event.
Ms. Scata Bos is a freelance artist from Cape Cod. She has a bachelor of fine arts degree from the Art Institute of Boston and specializes in acrylic and watercolor landscape paintings. For this project she asked school children a question and used their artwork to answer that question: What does the Cape Cod Canal mean to you?
One hundred pictures were chosen out of hundreds of submissions from the participating school systems of Bourne, Sandwich and Wareham.
Ms. Scata Bos’s daughter, Sciena, submitted a piece that was chosen. For Sciena, the canal means home, which was her answer to the question.
The centennial flag is constructed of wood and is roughly the size of a small sedan. The individual pictures make up the red and white stripes of the flag. Ms. Scata Bos used six starfish to represent the stars of the flag and to depict Massachusetts as the sixth state to join the union in 1788.
Visitors first got to see the flag during its debut during the Bourne on the Fourth of July parade. But visitors got their first chance to take their time and really look at the individual 4x8-inch pictures making up the flag during the Caniliversary. Many conversations were started while visitors looked at the art installation and many visitors pondered the same question: What does the canal mean to me?