| Comics |

Kenny Be's Yard Arteology: Prayer flagging

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

The study of neighbors through their lawn ornaments...

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.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.