Pseudo patriotism in these dark times…

“They say that patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings, steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and then they make you king.” ― Bob Dylan


the new administrations flag
UNpresidentED 36 x 48 on gallery wrapped stretched canvas by Deb Breton


Don’t paint your politics, be a patriot

Though I love to bring color, fun and energy to life on canvas, sometimes as an artist I have a duty to paint the sign of the times. The research for this project, took me to some very dark places, not only within society, but also within me. Luckily, it’s been a cathartic process. And while I’ve been told — you’re an artist, paint your happy paintings, don’t paint your politics, be a patriot – sometimes it’s your job to paint how you see the world…

My aim is to expose the angst and dread that I and so many others are feeling now. The use of imagery, words and found objects are all there to encourage critical thinking. But while I’m painting a dark subject, I’m also shining a light of hopefulness. The intent is that the work almost begs you to interact, to be involved and take part with it. Likewise, by engaging with each other, we see that we’re not alone and that together we are powerful.


Military brat

Please don’t berate me for lack of patriotism, that’s so cliché. I come from a military family, my brother served and my dad was a lifer who was in WWII and did 2 tours in Vietnam. I saluted him when he left for Vietnam, I was 5 years old. You see my dad served with people of every color and nationality in the service. We were taught that everyone was different and that THAT is what makes us so great!


War stories – horror stories

My mom is from Austria and lived through the Nazi invasion. It was her job to round-up the kids and get them into the basement during the air raids. She was strafed by airplanes and saw horrible things happen to her neighbors. My Oma (grandmother) ran the shortwave radio in the apartment building they lived in and she would get everyone safely down into the basement before the bombings. They lived near the train station so naturally they were always being bombed. My Opa (grandfather) was captured by the Nazi’s and forced to build a bridge, weeks later he was released and returned home to my mom and Oma, they thought he had been killed.


They’re gone now

Both my parents have crossed over and I miss them and wish they were still here, except now, this is the one time I’m glad they are not here to see what is happening to our country.

Remember, together we are more powerful than we think and even if the president and his advisor(s) can’t show human decency – WE CAN… When they go low, we go high…

With love and compassion,



P.S. The Swastika wasn’t always a symbol that of death and hate…

The word “swastika” comes from the Sanskrit svastika – “su” meaning “good,” “asti” meaning “to be,” and “ka” as a suffix.

Until the Nazis used this symbol, the swastika was used by many cultures throughout the past 3,000 years to represent life, sun, power, strength, and good luck.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. RMQ

    Deb, this is amazing! Thank you for sharing your story and for creating this potent image. I hope it strikes home with the juror and gets chosen for the show!

    1. Deb B

      Thank you Rennie. Haven’t heard much from you lately and haven’t seen any blog posts or work from you, hope you are doing okay?!

  2. Chandra Lynn

    Very powerful image. Thanks for part of your story and for the info about the swastika.

    1. Deb B

      Thank you Chandra for stopping by and commenting. Sad that the swastika became something totally different under Nazi Germany….

  3. Rosie Scribblah

    This is so powerful. I am doing a commission about the British flag at the moment, and like you say, it takes you to some dark places, when something that is supposed to be positive and unite people starts to represent something else entirely.

    1. Deb

      These are turbulent times, sending you peace as you work on your project.

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