Norwood, MA – This Wednesday, July 4th, thousands of Massachusetts residents gathered to celebrate Independence Day known around the world as the day that marks the official anniversary of the 1776 adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Many citizens dress in the traditional United States colors of red, white, and blue while some also display messages and symbols of patriotism outside their homes. Maintenance worker Arthur McCann of Norwood, MA, however, took his dedication to the next level on Wednesday. In an effort that allegedly took over two hours to complete, McCann painted an approximately 30-foot-by-20-foot giant replica of the American flag on his front lawn. He used paint, stencils, and measuring tape to hand-color the large rendition of the flag, which took up almost the entirety of his lawn. On the display, McCann remarked, “If you’re going to do it, you have to do it right…I just like to go big.”
The artistic endeavor has gained attention from national media outlets such as USA Today, as well as more local attention from those living near McCann’s neighborhood. The Norwood resident and grandson of a World War II veteran explained that he throws an annual Fourth of July party, which the neighborhood children frequent and enjoy; however, he was pleasantly surprised by the reaction from those in his local community:
“I'm blown away. People stand on the roof of their car and take pictures with their kids here…It’s so cool to see a good, positive response."
This artistic presentation made news at the same time that a recent report ranked Massachusetts as the least patriotic state in the United States of America. The report calculated patriotism using a multitude of factors, including each state’s average number of military enlistees, its percentage of adult residents who voted in the 2016 election, and its overall volunteer rate among residents. McCann asserted that it was not his intention to put forth any sort of political statement, but rather that he wanted to focus on spreading ‘positivity’ and ‘patriotism.’ “I just love America and the freedom and the opportunities it gives and I love to be creative,” he explained.