July 28, 2005



Since 9/11, of course, the flag has served as the official wrapping paper of America’s response and resolve, and well as the symbol by which to verify and affirmation one’s patriotism.

However, as the problems we face (or the problems arising from the supposedly simple and straight-forward solutions to those problems) reveal themselves to be more complex, the messages attached to the flag have become increasingly less obvious.

Perhaps that’s why — even though the flag and it’s display remains ubiquitous — it has begun to stand out for me lately.  Or, more specifically, it’s use as a propaganda vehicle has become more noticeable.

Isn’t it interesting that John Roberts comes appropriately wrapped just
days before his newly released government memorandums (Justice
Department 1981- 82; White House Counsel Staff 1982 – 86) reveal a
reactionary with the empathy of a caveman? (NYT Analysis: An Advocate for the Right – link.)


And, isn’t it also interesting that Reuters somehow manages to find and
release a starry August 2003 photo of a smiling Bolton (if that is
physically possible) just as: a) Questions are being raised about his
knowledge/involvement in the Plame affair, and b) Congressional
adjournment now leaves Bush the option to name Bolton to the U.N. as a
recess appointment?


And then, consider the photographer who realized that the real booster here would be to America’s morale. 


Finally, this little icon jumped out at me. What better way to
emphasize the glory of mass transit than to remind everyone that it’s
not just your train or my train, but America’s train

Of course, to the people who don’t see these stars and stripes as
simply matter-of-fact, this placement wouldn’t give the bad guys
additional incentive to provide a counterpoint, would it?

(image1: Newsweek cover. August 1, 2005.
image 2: Toshiyuki Aizawa/Reuters. August 1, 2003 in YahooNews. image
3: AFP/Robert Sullivan. July 26, 2005 in YahooNews. image 4: AP/Richard
Drew, File. In YahooNews.)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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