someone died in iraq and all i got was this crummy shirt

Theres been a new anti-war art/action group launched called Signal Orange. Basically, the folks behind it have decided to make one orange shirt for every American to have died thus far in Iraq. These shirts will then be sold at cost to individuals who will promise to wear them in highly visible places. For the most part, its a New York thing (focused around the upcoming Republican National Convention), but I thought that it was worth sharing Im a sensitive to the families of those killed, and the thought that they may not want their loved ones names being used in this manner, but I checked out the Signal Orange site and I think theyve done a pretty good job of responding to those concerns. Anyway, you can decide. Heres how those involved define the project.

Signal Orange represents the dead with the living wearing T-shirts in their names. There is one shirt for each soldier who died. The front states how he or she died, the back reads, (Rank) (First) (Last) cant vote anymore.

The signal orange color of the shirt was chosen for the same reason it is used where caution is required its the most visible color in person, on camera, and on video. The shirts are to be worn in places where the media is focused, whether that focus is momentary or constant. Examples might include the audience outside a morning talk show, or a parade, or a sporting event, and it certainly includes the Republican National Convention in NYC come September.

Signal Orange doesnt say that these soldiers or their families condemn or support the war, and it doesnt speak for them. Whether they opposed or supported the war, they were fighting for our right to decide democratically whether a war is just or not. Theyve been buried twiceonce in the ground, and once in the media. If we can make them visible in the media through Signal Orange, we can demonstrate that they had voices that have been lost.

My hope is that the people who wear these shirts dont find themselves attacked for their views, like this gallery owner who was allegedly beaten after displaying artwork critical of the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib.

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One Comment

  1. Mark
    Posted June 16, 2004 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    I like the idea, but I’m afraid that it’ll probably fizzle without much fanfare. There was a lot of internet chatter about it yesterday, but not so much today. Things pop up for a moment, like the heads of robotic moles, only to get whacked back down with the mallet of todays new flavor. Its hard to stay up for too long, let alone get out of the hole.

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