Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Flags and Vague Internationalism

Flags are powerful symbols of national and cultural identity, but they are sometimes employed to symbolize merely a vague sense of internationalism or cosmopolitanism. Take, for instance, the inside of my windbreaker. It's a medium-weight jacket, not especially stylish, and certainly not especially distinguished -- yet it has this ambitious label on the lining.

I guess I am supposed to feel, when wearing the jacket -- or at least I was, when I was considering its purchase -- that the garment would associate me with the glamorous, adventurous life of an aviator, a person who might at any moment dash off to exotic locales such as Spain, Norway, England, Italy, or the United States. I don't feel that way, not at all, but I am fond of the label. It seems to be trying so hard.

At the risk of noting the obvious: not only do the flags included on the label seem kind of randomly chosen, but there also seems to be a flag that is pretty significant to the jacket left off:


  1. Yeah, in context, not having that flag makes it feel like the equivalent of writing anonymously....

  2. Speaking of the Romanian Tricolor (well you were several posts ago) I came across this description of Bucharest's semi-famous Capsa located in the Piata Tricolorului (Tricolor Plaza).
    I just think it's cool that they have a Tricolor Plaza even of the site calls it the much less exciting "Square of the Flag" and the flag appears to be missing from the photo.

  3. I meant "even if" not "even of" but you probably figured that out.