There is only one flag in Jack Spencer’s photographic portrait of America. It withers under time and the elements, a symbol of bitterness instead of pride. It is at Wounded Knee, the site of the bloody oppression of the Lakota Native Americans over a century ago.
The flag is a reflection of Spencer’s inner state as he started photographing in 2003 for what would become his book, “This Land” (University of Texas Press, 2017). The images started out dark — a reaction to jingoism that saturated the country after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and before the Iraq War.