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Flag burning makes good television


Some people in Argentina burned a British flag in the streets in response to the Sun’s advertisement telling them to lay off the Falkland Islands.  In Northeast Pakistan an American flag was burned in response to a drone strike that killed a Taliban commander.  Occasionally in the Gaza strip we see them burning American or Israeli flags in reaction to some incident.

I wonder how many local shops there are in places like these that do good business selling such flags? I cannot imagine that in tribal areas of Pakistan there is a vigorous demand for stars and stripes flags, or that there is a flourishing trade in Israeli flags in Gaza. Yet always they manage to find one to burn in the streets. It makes good television to accompany the story. I wonder if the journalists themselves obligingly provide a flag for the locals to burn, then record the dramatic pictures of them doing so? It seems more plausible than the supposition that local shops regularly stock such items. Next time you see footage of a flag burning incident, it might be worth asking where the flag came from, and if the whole incident was manufactured to make good television.


One Response

  1. Meanwhile in my neck of the woods they’re burning cars because the Union flag isn’t being flown over Belfast City Hall every day.

    Ban flags. There’s clearly something about them that encourages arson.

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