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Fancy Pony Land Presents “My Personal Flag”

Apr 25, 2011

by kbdocumentary handmade and vintage goods


I recently interviewed Lorna Leedy, artist and owner of Fancy Pony Land, a studio and showroom in Marfa, TX. On the eve of her new community exhibit, “My Personal Flag,” Lorna discusses the inspiration behind working with several artists, each creating a visual representation of themselves.

lorna.jpgLorna, the exhibit is gorgeous and works so nicely in your shop and studio. How did you come up with the idea? 
Several years ago I read a piece in The New Yorker by the comic writer Jack Handey called “My Flag.” He describes the plethora of symbols and images on his personal flag, explaining that “the bra and panties stand for women’s rights. Davy Crockett shaking hands with Daniel Boone symbolizes how we need to put aside our differences. The skull and crossbones, in the lower right corner, stands for pirates, and all that they have given us.” Ever since reading that piece, I’ve wanted to make my own flag and create an exhibition. I’d also been meaning to make flags for the front of my store, Fancy Pony Land, to draw attention to my otherwise drab exterior.


The opening of “My Personal Flag” at Fancy Pony Land in Marfa, TX.

Was there any one thing that inspired you?
I heard that Ballroom Marfa, the excellent non-profit contemporary art space across the street from Fancy Pony Land, was doing a show about New Orleans (“The World According To New Orleans,” curated by Dan Cameron), a city I called home off and on for about ten years beginning in the mid-nineties. I consider it a second home because it’s the place where I grew up and learned how to be a working artist. Since living in New Orleans, Mt. Rainier National Park and Marfa, TX equally feel like homes. This got me thinking about place and identity and that’s when the show “My Personal Flag” was born.


Flag by Amanda Barr.

How did you approach artists to participate?
I invited a handful of friends to make their own personal flags and got an overwhelmingly positive response. Soon I had friends of friends contacting me and asking if they could make flags too — the list just kept growing. The show has flags by fifty people, including my dad and several other family members, many Marfa locals, several New Orleans artists, old friends from high school and college, some people I’ve never met and my kindergarten teacher. The show has been one of my favorite things I’ve ever done. Many people pitched in to hang the show and help out and it really looks fantastic in the space. The variety of flags is as wide as the variety of people involved.


Flag by Faith Gay.

To find out more about “My Personal Flag,” including the names of the artists involved, check out Lorna’s blog. For more Marfa goodness, watch the video we produced about the town.

Shop Local: Texas


  • stepbackink

    stepbackink said 10 years ago

    Great article :)

  • iWALLS

    iWALLS said 10 years ago

    This is great! I love the creativity and the story behind the article!

  • LittleBirdWallArt

    LittleBirdWallArt said 10 years ago

    I want to make a flag too! What an ingenious idea!

  • hypericumfragile

    hypericumfragile said 10 years ago

    Fantastic idea! :)

  • chinadoodle

    chinadoodle said 10 years ago

    great story, plus it reminded me of how much I loved Marfa.

  • ThePolkadotMagpie

    ThePolkadotMagpie said 10 years ago

    Fantastic project. Reminds me of the neighborhood flags in Sienna during the Palio.

  • floofball

    floofball said 10 years ago

    I love the idea of a personal flag. I think I need one!

  • rebourne

    rebourne said 10 years ago

    fly 'em high!!

  • BlueRoseRetro

    BlueRoseRetro said 10 years ago

    Not too keen on the bloody knife image but I love the personal flag idea.

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 10 years ago

    Fantastic !

  • junkyardglitter

    junkyardglitter said 10 years ago

    Totally inspiring. My flag would say If you see paint on my clothes it is because I am a messy artist. Great article. My little boring town could use a cool place!

  • inaflashopalinlay

    inaflashopalinlay said 10 years ago

    Great article, love the personal flag, neat idea.

  • DarkstarsCreation

    DarkstarsCreation said 10 years ago

    The red flag is awesome, it has attitude and says everything... What a great idea - Love it!

  • KristyLynnJewelry

    KristyLynnJewelry said 10 years ago

    Neat article!

  • callmemimi

    callmemimi said 10 years ago

    Love your idea !

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 10 years ago

    Awesome idea!!!

  • ethniquetrendy

    ethniquetrendy said 10 years ago


  • theroyal

    theroyal said 10 years ago

    thanks for turning us on to this. i am excited to check out happy pony land

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 10 years ago

    arg, i mean fancy pony land

  • LakesEdge

    LakesEdge said 10 years ago

    aw i love it! i'm a pirate at heart (my bedroom can occasionally look like a 8 year old boy's room lol) totally going to make my own flag now :P

  • dollybirdboutique

    dollybirdboutique said 10 years ago

    I want my own flag x

  • gilstrapdesigns

    gilstrapdesigns said 10 years ago

    I want my own personal flag as well. I love the article and you're right down here in Texas with me. Congratulations and much continued success.

  • NecessiTees

    NecessiTees said 10 years ago

    Love it! Kudos to a fellow Texan for this clever idea:)

  • NaturalPetProducts

    NaturalPetProducts said 10 years ago

    Great article & flags!!

  • HellsSewingCircle

    HellsSewingCircle said 10 years ago

    Yay! Its so awesome to read articles on here about visual artists who are shop owners as well. :) Marfa...I have wanted to vosot for a few years now after reading about the artist residences Congratulations on your exhibition!

  • thebeadgirl

    thebeadgirl said 10 years ago

    what a great idea!!! i totally want a flag!

  • SacredSymbolStudios

    SacredSymbolStudios said 10 years ago

    Very cool, love the article and the flags!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat said 10 years ago

    At festivals here in the UK many regulars have a personal flag by their tent... it makes it easier to find "home" in the many acres of camp-fields! Brilliant show, love the whole idea!

  • TravelingGnome

    TravelingGnome said 10 years ago

    A personal flag is such a neat idea! But I have no idea what I'd put on mine!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 10 years ago

    Very interesting article!

  • frommylifetoyours

    frommylifetoyours said 10 years ago

    I want that red flag in my kitchen . ( maybe not that big, a smaller one )

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 10 years ago


  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 10 years ago

    Cool project, I'm sure it reveals an awful lot about a person when they're making it and when the come to explain it's symbolism!

  • MissHildebrandt

    MissHildebrandt said 10 years ago

    That very first flag shown is just perfect for the empty flag pole that came with the house!

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies said 10 years ago

    Love Button Pushed!

  • thevelvetheart

    thevelvetheart said 10 years ago

    Very unique idea!

  • HelloAmelia

    HelloAmelia said 10 years ago

    I recently visited Fancy Pony Land on a West TX road trip. It was just as lovely as you'd imagine from the photos! Loved the flags!

  • Donkeystudio

    Donkeystudio said 10 years ago

    I love the top image - couldn't have said it better myself x

  • Donkeystudio

    Donkeystudio said 10 years ago

    ... and fancy pony land looks amazing ...

  • opendoorstudio

    opendoorstudio said 10 years ago did i miss this! thank you for adding my little flags to this awesome post! I love this idea and I love the pennants and banners. I always remember the banners and flags the women of the church made while growing up ! thank you for sharing! might have to sit my family down and make one of our own!

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 10 years ago

    So cool! I have to think now about what my personal flag would look like.

  • thestapeliacompany

    thestapeliacompany said 10 years ago

    I love it.

  • myneedlehabit

    myneedlehabit said 10 years ago

    Totally and utterly fantastic. Wave the flag...ride the pony. Count me in.

  • ArtTeeArt

    ArtTeeArt said 10 years ago

    Nice article Karen! To my surprise I see myself in the photo from the Fancy Pony Land opening "My personal flag" That's me to the right with the black dress with big red flower and boots. Husband Rich , his mom Shirley Marvin. We really enjoyed the opening and the shop itself . Beautiful dresses everywhere including a few bodies who wore it well! Lorna's designs are awesome!Can not wait to come back to Marfa. LoveLoveLoveIT!

  • girliepains

    girliepains said 10 years ago


  • domesticaesthetics

    domesticaesthetics said 10 years ago

    My first flag was for my DnD group, while we were campaigning in a world invented by our DM. It was a red pirate flag with a black heart and a saber through it with "Fury's Heart" emblazoned. The next were a set of liturgical banners featuring a sword engulfed in flame on a green field (symbolizing the Word of God), and a chalice of wine with a loaf of bread (symbolizing communion.) I ended up making sets for the entire calendar, including Christmas, Lent and Easter. It was so much fun, and I'd been thinking of picking it up again, when my husband commissioned me to make a flag for the security team at his company. Hooray!

  • foundaryvintage

    foundaryvintage said 9 years ago

    Whoa! Lorna Leedy is actually a relative of mine that my dad talks about but whom I've never met. Small world! I guess craftiness and independence runs in my family pretty deep..

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