Browsing through a recent People magazine, my wife pointed out to me a series of double page ads for JC Penney's new American Living line.
Laurel was struck by the strangeness of people wanting to go around wearing clothing emblazoned with the American flag.
The American Living logo is a bald eagle flying off with the stars and stripes on a flag pole. This strikes me as against the flag code, but my Boy Scout days are so far in the past I can't remember if it mentions anything about a bird absconding with our national symbol.
Of course, all kinds of people wear the American flag (and I'm not complaining about this entirely appropriate use of it).
But there's something peculiar about how U.S. citizens enjoy flaunting the flag. I bet that if people from any other world power displayed the same pride in their flag, we'd decry such blatant jingoistic nationalism.
I haven't seen China's leaders with Chinese flag pins in their lapels. Ditto for Russia's, Britain's, Germany's, or France's leaders. I also haven't seen them posing on stages draped wall to wall with their country's flag.
And I'm pretty sure that few of their female citizens would be seen walking around in a polo dress festooned with a nationalistic symbol – like the American Living line hopes to sell (disturbingly, some guys with zero fashion sense are going to buy this nightmare of a t-shirt).
I couldn't help but notice that the American Living clothing is imported. Apparently JC Penney and Ralph Lauren, who designed the line, enjoy irony.
They want you to wear the American flag. Which likely is made in China.