During the summer of 1960, while vacationing on Cape Cod, Oldenburg created a series of driftwood flags inspired by everyday objects. His Provincetown series, to which the present work belongs, is a reflection on the plethora of flags that pervade the quaint Massachusetts locale:
"In Provincetown flags are everywhere--on homes, ships, shops, clothing and souvenir items--testaments to both traditional patriotic faith and vacuous contemporary clichés. Oldenburg's flags capture both aspects and affirm an acute responsiveness to the seaside environment as well. Composed of weatherbeaten materials inventively assembled to suggest stars and stripes, these flags have the life-and-death quality of nature, the awesomeness of survival under harsh conditions [and] a witty engagement with simple, fond treasures" (S. Stich, MADE IN U.S.A. An Americanization in Modern Art, the '50s & '60s, exh. cat., University of California, Berkeley Art Museum, 1987, p. 24).