Flags: Winners, Losers, & Why America’s Needs Updating
In light of America’s newfound place as an international laughingstock as a result of Donald Trump’s recent escapade through what he believes were at least eight of the world’s seven continents and during which he succeeded in living up to all of our worst fears as to how he would embarrass America in a way that could only have been exceeded if we had dispatched either Larry the Cable Guy or James Woods in his place, I thought I would take this opportunity to address a nagging issue that has gone too long overlooked.
Namely, the question of which national flags look the best, and which are in dire need of a makeover.
First among the winners of best flags is France.
France’s flag reigns near the very top of the aesthetically pleasing list, which should come as no surprise, coming as it does from a nation known as much for its fashion centers and artistic heritage as its steady and constant supply of anorexic Eurotrash.
But France is hardly alone on the list of countries with great flags—there are plenty of other nations who have exhibited superior acuity when designing their national flags.
Consider, for example, Jamaica.
Jamaica’s flag is exceptionally strong, and it holds up to repeated viewings, which is far more than can be said of repeated listenings to Bob Marley’s greatest hits.
What about the flag of the United Kingdom?
The Union Jack is almost unquestionably spectacular, which goes a long way toward compensating for the U.K.’s apparent lack of proper orthodonture.
How about Japan?
Simple and austere, and it could just as easily double as a logo for a tampon company.
It’s bright and beautiful and no doubt designed by the relative of a recently deceased prince who could cut you in on a piece of the inheritance if you’d only wire him several tens of thousands of dollars in order to release the funds from the bank.
Are you familiar with the national flag of the Bahamas?
We should all be so lucky to have a flag as pleasing as the Bahamas, even if it would mean having to live in an island paradise lacking a space program but otherwise supplied with a flourishing cockfighting community.
Even North Korea has a cool looking flag!
North Korea’s flag deserves additional points, considering that it comes from the same country that designed Kim Jong-Un’s haircut.
In fact, when designing their flags, most countries opt for something that, because it’s a flag and not a Hieronymus Bosch painting, is simple enough that it will look good in a variety of settings, including raised atop a flagpole, reprinted upon a postage stamp, or tattooed on the lower back of a stripper.
And this brings me to the most pressing point of this piece: the American flag is an ungodly visual eyesore.
Before you launch into hysterics and apoplectic tirades in the comments section of this blog, try to consider this from a purely objective point of view. This is not an attack upon the country or its guiding principles—rather, this is an attack on America’s aesthetic qualifications in the arena of worldwide national flags.
The unfortunate reality is that there is damn good reason to discard our nation’s flag in the same way you would an ugly shag carpet from 1973 or stonewashed denim from 1987, and that is because the American flag is the quintessential representation of everything that is wrong with this country.
Consider that the French, Italian, and Nigerian flags all consist of three vertical stripes—three. That simplicity allows the colors ample space to present a respectable, uncluttered field in which to communicate a unified message.
Austria, Russia, and Gabon achieve similar greatness with three horizontal stripes that also speak to a simple and austere aesthetic.
Even more complex flags, like either the Union Jack or the flag of Kenya, resist the temptation to overdo it with gratuitous decoration by maintaining a symmetry that complements the underlying simplicity.
However, the American flag is the flag equivalent of a wearing an Ed Hardy t-shirt to a Liberace concert. It’s as if we actually asked Donald Trump to design it—that’s how gaudy and ostentatious it is.
Because again, while most flags have three or four stripes, the American flag has how many? That’s right: 13. Why? Because we’re America and modesty and moderation ain’t exactly our thing, which is why the swimming pool at Caesars in Las Vegas on any given weekend will feature a host of 300-pound-plus alcoholics in leopard-print Speedos and thong-back bikinis attempting to tread water after having consumed the equivalent of Ethiopia’s GDP in crab cakes and macaroni salad.
And when it comes to stars, most countries will put one or maybe a small handful scattered thoughtfully throughout. But America, land of Lunchables, Walmart, and diabetes puts not one, not a handful, not a dozen, but fifty garishly appointed stars on its flag because those stars, along with our massive military industrial complex and prolific gun culture, are how we compensate for a failing public school system and an infinitesimally small national dick size. (Notice how the flags of Nigeria and Gabon don’t need any stars, America? Just sayin’ …)
Fortunately, I never like to complain without also offering a solution, and so I am writing this piece in part to propose that we change the current American flag with one of a more aesthetically appealing quality. And what makes my solution so brilliantly unique is that it will accomplish two things at once: First, it will replace our overly bombastic national flag with one of a more aesthetically respectable appearance; and second, it will reclaim from the dustbin of history a symbol most often associated with racism, Nascar, and Sunny Delight.
In case you haven’t yet guessed where this is going, allow me to confirm your worst suspicions: Yes, I am suggesting that we replace the American flag with the Confederate one.
Before you run screaming to your campus-allocated safe zone and alert Huffington Post and Salon to the evil menace whose words have so indelicately assaulted your precious participation-trophy softened ears, I am only proposing this because, like it or not, the Confederate flag represents an aesthetically superior design compared with our current national flag.
Observe, for example, the symmetry, color scheme, and austere simplicity of its design. It is the Apple iOS to Windows 8, the Tesla Model 3 to the Pontiac Aztek, the Scarlett Johansson to KellyAnne Conway. There’s a reason so many proud Southern men harboring latent homosexual desires so enthusiastically wave this flag and declaim their desire to preserve its place in history, and that is because they know how much better its appearance complements the truck nuts suspended from the rear axle of their Ford F-150—less a matter of ideology, the Confederate flag is simply a more aesthetically pleasing complement than the overwrought national monstrosity we have now.
The point here is that everyone reflexively hates the Confederate flag for its ideological baggage without first pausing to consider it from a strictly aesthetic point of view. In the same way that people reflexively despise Birth of a Nation (1915) for its glorification of the KKK without pausing to consider its aesthetic cinematic strengths, or in the same way that people reflexively hate John Mayer without admitting that he can actually play a pretty good guitar riff, the Confederate flag, viewed strictly in isolation from its ugly past, is the hands-down winner over the Union flag by dint of its design. As such, we should all do well to take a moment to consider the sort of impression we’d like to give to the rest of the world and whether we wouldn’t like to raise a flag that says we’re a country not just of fanny packs, Wrangler jeans, and double-XL “No Fear” t-shirts but also of taste, refinement, and formal operational cognitive capacity.
And a good place to begin this process of repairing our worldwide status would be to formally jettison the current national flag and replace it with the Confederate one, which would illustrate to the world not just that we have an appreciation of style and aesthetics but also that we have the steel cajones to tell that one part of our country still clinging to a nineteenth-century antebellum past that they can suck our post-workout dick because we’re claiming their emblem as one that represents literacy, equality, and regular oral hygiene—all of which are anathema to the current crop of backwater buck-toothed nutria-hunting middle school dropouts married to their sister who currently wave the Confederate flag as a symbol of their incestuous heritage.
And by the way, we really need to commission Barack Obama for the task of announcing this switch on behalf of our country. Our nation’s first black president should have the honor of telling the Southern states and spineless, dog-whistle racist Republicans like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell who don’t-but-do support Donald Trump that their symbol of making America great again is actually going to be appropriated by the Leftist, book-reading, artistically inclined portion of the country. Because only Obama could do this justice by holding aloft the Confederate flag and saying to the good-old-boy Trump supporter and Pepe-meme sharing population: “You see this? We’re taking it back from you and making it our own, just like hip-hop did the N word. So go fuck yourselves, it belongs to us now.”