Usually when you hear the phrase “wrapped in the flag,” it is a metaphor for extreme patriotism. This woman took it literally. The great French photographer Henri Cartier Bresson had this to say about his photo: “This woman explained to me that the flagpole over her door was broken but ‘on such a day as this, one keeps one’s flag on one’s heart.’ I felt in her a touch of the strength and robustness of the early American pioneers.”
Perhaps he was reminded of early pioneers in part because her dress had nothing in common with the clothes of 1947. It doesn’t fit her and the style is eclectic, with its very wide collar and short puffed sleeves. Was it a hand me down? A second hand find? Or more intriguing, did she make it herself with style elements from clothes she had loved during her long life?