August 31, 2011

Irene: Death to America!

FLAG flooded street NJ

Here’s the latest example how visual media likes to frame natural disasters through a nationalistic lens (the flag as a dominant symbol or “actor”), the impact inferred as a blow to America’s self-esteem and/or survival equated to the strength of the American character.

A few more examples: 1, 2, 3.

And then, here’s our snapshot from Joplin. Then, there was “Iwo Jima,” Kansas.

(photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images caption: An American flag is shown submerged on a flooded street on August 31, 2011 in Wallington, New Jersey. New Jersey was especially hard hit by Hurricane Irene with thousands of residents forced into shelters due to flooded homes and many more still without electricity as rivers and creeks overflowed in the aftermath of the storm. President Barack Obama, who plans to visit Paterson, New Jersey on Sunday, has signed a disaster declaration for five counties in New Jersey, making residents eligible for federal assistance.)


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Michael Shaw
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