Photographer John J. Deignan expresses his love for both Old Glory and Chatham with his latest flag series.
By Lisa Leigh Connors
Last summer, Boston-based photographer John J. Deignan set out to photograph as many flags as possible in Chatham from Memorial Day to Labor Day. “My love for the flag and my love for Chatham is my inspiration for photographing the Stars and Stripes,” says Deignan, a landscape photographer who began his journey behind the lens six years ago. While it wasn’t his original intent to single out Old Glory, Deignan kept noticing the flags waving somewhere in his frame—whether it be on a boat at the fish pier or in front of Chatham Light. In his series, Deignan captures flags of all shapes, sizes and material: wooden flags on homes, bunting in front of restaurants, decorative pillows on porch rocking chairs, flags fluttering on commercial fishing boats, and, of course, on flag poles. He also discovered interesting stories along the way: The enormous flag that flies in front of a home on Bridge Street, just behind Chatham Light, was once flown on a United States Navy war vessel. Deignan says the flag he loves the most, however, is located at one of the last remaining camps on North Beach Island. “It gives us, the viewer, the flag in the foreground and a vista featuring the unique light and dramatic skies of Chatham. It’s my go-to spot.”