A local artist, Keit Bonnici, recently replaced the traditional Maltese flag at the national museum of art, with one missing the George Cross.
The artwork was intended to make a statement about the colonialism that Malta underwent before gaining independence from the United Kingdom on 21st September 1964.
“For me, part of celebrating independence day is to reflect on what it means to be independent in a contemporary Malta,” Bonnici told Lovin Malta.
His piece also touches upon Malta’s identity as an independent country, ultimately posing the question of whether the symbolic cross should still be a part of our flag.
Bonnici’s piece has two names, one in Maltese and one in English, ‘Għandna Salib’ and ‘In dependence’.
“Flags are graphic symbols which represent us in the contemporary context. The George Cross is one way how to think about a flag. Independence day made me think about this. What does the George Cross on our flag say about us being an independent country?” the artist told Lovin Malta.
The flag that he designed was pretty much identical to Malta’s flag as we know it – but he left out a highly distinctive part, eliminating the George Cross and replacing it with a simple box in red.
With his design replacing the Maltese flag, he left a small cushioned design of the George Cross on the floor next to the foot of the pole.
“Do we really want the George Cross on our flag? What does it say about us? Who do we want to be as a nation? What does it mean to put the George Cross on our graphic identity?” the artist questioned.
The artist intended to spark a discussion on the topic and make the viewer of the artwork ask these questions, and it’s safe to say that he was successful with his goal.
What do you make of this?