Flags: New Glories

In the middle ages, they were called gonfalons, and the heraldry that adorned them was a kind of who's who. Now art lovers are saluting an artistic modernization of what medieval men rallied around: flags and banners by living artists. Galleries and museums in Manhattan are brightening the city's glass-and-steel canyons with new glories in flapping fabric. The lions rampant gules and cinquefoils vert have been replaced by opping concatenations and popping faces, as modern heraldry makes art go public in an exciting manner (see color).

It began during the 16-week New...

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