Tuesday, July 04, 2006

'Flag Epidemic' Ire

It's a true epidemic: the red, white and blue, stars-and-stripes banners are everywhere in the United States - on house facades, front lawns, cars and clothes.

Hitting an high point on the July 4 US Independence Day holiday, it is a genuine phenomenon of American national pride that, inevitably, gets a good but also sometimes unwanted boost from commercial exploitation...

The flag also pops up on lawns and balconies, sometimes to the ire of local residents. In the Washington suburbs of Bethesda and Chevy Chase, real estate agencies stick plastic signs adorned with the flag next to people's front porches

Aha, a light begins to dawn. I can confirm that this is indeed a popular practice, the flags usually being set out on July 4th before 9am. However, I suspect that the "resident's ire" in question is none other than that of the author of the article, "Chantal Valery". The two specific areas in question are thickly populated with French nationals, folks who usually gravitate around a favored restaurant in the area to commiserate about their woes.

Note that the article is time-stamped 1:16pm. Would a reporter crank out an article on this subject so quickly unless they actually lived in the neighborhood? I doubt it. I characterize it as propaganda, labelling as repugnant a form of patriotism AFP thinks its audience finds repugnant: pride in one's country.

Correction 11:59pm: Maplewood is NOT, to my knowledge, thickly populated with French nationals. I didn't think they put up flags there on July 4th either, and indeed the article states that flags in this neighborhood were put up several days earlier.

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