Bouquet of Red and Pink Flowers with an American Flag and Rosary Beads, Lafayette Cemetery No 1, New Orleans
Rosary beads, an American flag, and a bouquet of roses in this found still life photograph from Lafayette Cemetery No 1, New Orleans. The memorial is rich in history and religious symbolism. The pinks roses, the flower identified with the Virgin Mary since the earliest days of the Church, are displayed above a set of Rosary Beads including a cross. The letters on the vase invoke the name of Joseph, Mary’s husband. A Marian devotion of deep reverence is formed by the triangle of the bouquet and horizontal stone shelf. Above is the flag, emerging from the flowers emphasizing the relationship between Christian theology and the roots of American culture. Echoed by the seam in the marble, the staff of the flag completes a parallel structure with the background of the photograph. For the person venerated here, probably a veteran, the combination likely represented the core philosophical and motivation currents in their life. One can see the power of the unification of God and Country in this shrine of profound hope, joy, and the optimism in the promise of an afterlife of bliss.