Kenny Be's Yard Arteology: Prayer flagging

The study of neighbors through their lawn ornaments...

Kenny Be's Yard Arteology: Prayer flagging

Figure 17. Prayer flags: wrong (left) and right (right)

Perhaps the most curious observation in the study of yard art in Denver has been in the surprising popularity of Tibetan prayer flags. These stringed banners span the porches in neighborhoods across the city and announce that cultural appropriation is not limited to income level. A quickie-Wiki search attributes the five colors and characters of the prayer flags to a variety of mantras that essentially blow blessings into the world on every breeze. Careful examination reveals that not all prayer flags are equal, and the method to their magic may hinge on how they're hung.

The most common hanging method, as seen in the home on the left of figure 17, is to string the banners beneath the eave of the front porch between the posts that frame the front door. The horizontal orientation reflects a timid spirit who is unable to think outside of the American grid. The very appearance of the home suggests that the sheltered flags aren't catching enough breeze to provide adequate blessing. Hanging the streamers on a diagonal, as seen in the home on the right, is the key to putting karma into action. The angle of the dangle and the number of streamers will determine the amount of health and fortune that are released by, and presumably returned to, the homeowner. While it may be reminiscent of a used-car dealership, the proliferation and proud display of freak flags clearly adds to a home's prosperity.

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