This painting commemorates the nation’s entry into World War I in spring 1917. Childe Hassam shows Fifth Avenue in New York City decorated with red, white, and blue flags. It had been declared “the Avenue of the Allies” in honor of the military alliance between the United States, Great Britain, and France.
This is part of a series of flag images in which Hassam used brilliant sunlight and color in the style of the French impressionists. The breezy, celebratory air glosses over the horrors of modern warfare that American soldiers would face fighting in Europe.