I think it’s a bit weird how some of the supporters of President Obama seem so focused on reinventing iconic American images to adopt an Obama perspective.
Consider the recent reinterpretation of the American flag, with the ubiquitous Obama campaign slogan “O” replacing the field of blue stars and five coarse red streaks replacing the 13 red and white stripes. I’m sure some creative Obama booster thought the new design was more hip and cool. But doesn’t it have a creepy element to it? Doesn’t the modification smack, a bit, of a cult of personality? Isn’t it awfully presumptuous?
Perhaps the modification of the American flag to be sold on campaign gear mug isn’t that big of a deal — but perhaps it is. All Americans felt a surge of pride and patriotism when they see the flag raised and hear the National Anthem. The flag is a powerful unifying symbol. When you design a new flag, aren’t you suggesting the current flag just isn’t good enough? Didn’t anyone on the Obama campaign think that modifying the flag might upset some people? It did, of course — and now the merchandise featuring the new flag doesn’t seem to be available any longer at the Obama campaign store website.
The Obama campaign seems very attuned to the power of symbols; it’s odd that they so missed the boat with this effort. Now they know what most Americans have always felt: our current flag is perfect the way it is, thanks.