The Anti-Trump Armband Project Takes Shape

The Armband Project Takes ShapeI couldn’t shake it from my mind.  And I can’t let it go.

I’m in mourning for the ideals I hold dear — the ideals of my 70+ year lifetime.

I’ve gotten lots of thoughts and suggestions from friends and acquaintances.  And I’ve gotten help.   Help thinking through and designing an image. Help in figuring out the message.  Help in finding a url that’ll make sense.

The First Prototypes

armband-prototypeMy friend created a preliminary logo in record time.  I’ve ordered iron-on decals which will arrive next week.

My next door neighbor — a clothing designer — helped figure out how to make them.

A trip to Mood, the same fabric store they go to in Project Runway, yielded two yards of black fabric and seven yards of black elastic.

Two hours with my neighbor experimenting with sewing techniques and sizes led to two prototypes — one smaller and one larger.  And, then, the first 12 armbands with simple paper images sewn on. The paper won’t last, but it feels real and wearable while we wait for the iron on decals.

Not My Prez → Not My Values

I’ve purchased the domain www.notmyvalues.us.

The idea has changed since its inception.  The next versions will have that website on the armband, along with the image. That will take people to a website that presents letters to live by and their alternative values.

Amazing how Trump and his rhetoric make a mockery out of these “Letters to Live By.”

C = Compassion or Cruelty

D = Dignity or Divisiveness

E = Empathy or Enmity

F = Forgiveness or Fear-Mongering

G = Generosity or Greed

H = Humility or Hubris

I = Integrity or Injustice

J = Justice or Jealousy

K = Kindness or (not sure what)

L = Love or Loathing

Not quite right yet, but you get the idea. Messy and exciting. Two wrong directions and one direction that feels right.

What’s Next?

This week, Tyko and I will start wearing our prototype armbands and as soon as the iron on decals arrive, I’ll put them on and give armbands to ten friends.

Will we be scorned? Will we be harassed?

Will people ask about them? Will they want to know where to get one?

Will we have the courage to wear them? Even here in New York City?

Whatever the response and wherever this goes, I’m happy to be creating something that expresses the way I feel. I hope you do that, too.


Share your thoughts about the way the armband idea is shaping up in the comments below, or head on over to Facebook and share your thoughts there.

  • Ryan McConnell

    This seems vaguely facist – wearing black armbands around to proclaim that the democratically elected president isn’t really “your” president – very divisive, and in poor taste.

    • joan

      what a monumental waste of time

      • Andrea Kihlstedt

        Hi Joan, Thanks for your comment. Isn’t it amazing how different people assign different values to how they spend their time. What are you doing in response to the election?

    • Andrea Kihlstedt

      Thanks for your comment, Ryan. I appreciate your perspective. As I said in the post, I’m dropping the #notmyprez and replacing it with notmyvalues.us. I agree, Trump was democratically elected. As J.L. Mencken said in 1920, “As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.” I suspect that’s just what has happened.

  • Kerry Parslow

    I’ve already made a black “mourning” armband of my own, and have started wearing it, am also making more to share with friends who are joining me on the Women’s March next Saturday. It’s a bit more subtle. Mine has an upside down US flag on it. A black armband is traditionally worn to display grief at the loss of a beloved leader (19th century British Victorians wore them for 8 years after the death of the queen’s Prince Consort, Albert). The inverted flag is recognized as a distress signal that indicates “threat to life and property” and is a request for immediate assistance. If anyone asks me why the flag I’m wearing in inverted I will demonstrate that when I raise my hand high in a “victory” peace sign or raised fist, the flag on my arm flips to the position of strength and safety, a reminder to stay involved in political action to block the worst aims of the new administration. My protest is not limited to the impending President, but to most of his cabinet choices and to the corrupt and even criminal actions of the GOP in undermining our democratic values, national security and voter rights. Trumpists can keep their red ballcaps — I’m wearing my black armband until we can bring the country back to sanity.