Raising the American flag over what?

Firefighters claim this rubble for the USA
What exactly is commemorated in this moment? Apparently it’s iconic enough to merit a stamp. NYC firefighters raise a flag amid the ruins of the WTC, meaning what exactly?
The photographer recounted recognizing this Iwo Jima moment in the making. Does it give you a lump in your throat as well? The Marines at Iwo Jima had just captured the island after suffering some of the heaviest casualties in the Pacific Theater.

These firemen guys are announcing what? A building complex down and 3,000 lives lost, but America, 230 million strong, the bad-ass superpower, is not out for the count? Is this bad WWWF theater? We re-claim this rumble in the name of the USA? It gives me an idea…

How about we raise flags, and take the requisite pictures, upon scraps of ruin to which it would be more relevant to assert American ownership. A garbage barge for example. Or a toxic dump. Dried up wetlands, urban sprawl. Everyone can participate. Are you alone? Hold a toothpick American flag over your failed grade report card. It says you’re resilient. Send it in!

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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4 Responses to Raising the American flag over what?

  1. Avatar The 13th says:

    Let’s all go postal! The U.S. Postal Service, for better or worse, derives a fantastic amount of revenue by appealing to collectors with Commemorative Issue stamps. In 2005, for instance, the Postal Service issued stamps “commemorating” The Lunar New Year (Eastern religion), Marion Anderson (as part of their black heritage series), Jim Henson and the Muppets, Constellations, Sports Cars, Child Healthcare Awareness, and yet another version of the ever popular “Love” commemorative series, and these are but to name a few of stamps issued that year. And the Firemen Stamp is but one stamp of many for the year 2001.

    I don’t think it’s too surprising or macabre to create a stamp to “commemorate” surviving (or the attempt to survive, as that is still in debate) the tragedy of 9/11. I realize, no matter how relative, there will not be a Nixon Impeachment stamp, an Enron bankruptcy stamp, nor a Britney Spears rehab stamp (in the works, but they lack finding a proper adhesive).

    As for the selecting the most fitting iconic image of a 9/11 tragedy – well – that’s very subjective and a moot debate. So, politics aside, please tell me, Eric, how is this stamp any different than taking a Peace Sign, putting it on cloth (a flag), and then deeming the shirt to belong to St Paddy’s 2007? It’s a cool shirt but Peace doesn’t belong to any one particular incident, and the message of peace is as open to interpretation as a stamp with 3 men, a flag, and a shit load of tragic ashes. Correct?

    I don’t purport to know what these firemen are thinking? One might be singing the National Anthem to himself, the other might be singing “Give Peace a Chance”, and the third recalling a hymn of comfort or hope. Likewise, when I wear a peace sign – I really hope I am not labeled, grouped, and stereotyped, simply ‘cuz someone in a crowd wants to project their biases into my choice of wardrobe. Otherwise – it’s like the police coralling people at the Dairy Queen in a bad riot response, making totally indiscriminate assumptions to ignore that some of us really really really just want to get some ice cream.

    So, obviously, whether t-shirt or stamp, the artistic hope is to recognize the moment, and more.

    Likewise, it IS important to remember that iconic imagery is potentially a form of propaganda. Helen of Troy launched a 1000 ships and Cupid a thousand hearts. Does following the non-objective message (as villian) construe to mean that we’re back to blank sheets, ubiquity, and the generic? Shall we strip down to the sandels or modesty’s last leaf and debate the relevancy of each? How about I spin some nonsense – and plug in cotton on the end of a stick in the form of a Q-tip just for surreal interpretation’s hint?

    Efficacy and effigy… yesterday’s cotton on the end of a stick recognizes fabrics from slavery. Tomorrow it celebrates the advent of synthetics and increased awareness of fair labor. Today’s oil war recognizes a different form of slavery, and the Qtip that’s been provided will help the deaf consider alternates, I hope.

    (Then again, sometimes it’s just a cigar, said Freud…. who dropped in on the conversation somewhere in the middle, and got bored.)

    Too many words already. With all this diversity to recognize, it’s no wonder some would prefer a unified goosestep! But not me.

    Too many choices? Then, best to buy the Love Commemorative stamp, for what it’s worth and more…

    Ice cream stains on my t-shirt. Stamps on my voter card and bills.

  2. Avatar Tony Logan says:

    Just turn these stamps upside down when you paste them to the envelope.

  3. Avatar jonah says:

    Save your Dixie Cups and the South shall rise again!

    My little dig at the klan, it was their founder who said something similar.

    I can see where it’s spin…

    After 12 years of military buildup by Ronzo and King George the Almost Smart Enough To Be Considered Normal, the Elite of the Elite, the creme de la creme of the United States Mighty Armed Forces tangled up with a barefoot army in a Third World country with absolutely ZERO centralized government control, got their asses rolled into one collective ass and then proceeded to have it whooped from one end of the country to the other, one of their supposedly “invincible” super-high tech Black Hawk helicopters gets shot down with a hopped up grenade launcher, the crew killed, and somehow, if you watch the “Black Hawk Down” movie, somehow that equated to a Victory.

    YO, Governmental-types, do you guys really think we’re that stupid?

  4. Avatar The 13th says:

    You know, in the wake of the tragedies of both New Orleans and New York, I’d hope that we’d at least remember them both as cities of great cultural diversity – not perfect – but great in effort.

    John Lennon (the visonary brand name, the idealistic artist) stood for an idealism without borders, but John Lennon (the cognitive, the citizen, the family man) also stood for New York City. It remains a shame to history that both aspects of his life are not remembered.

    New York City has a cultural voice to the world – and that alone is something Americans can be proud of, and continue to aim for as well: allowing and celebrating the diversity of free speech, community, and culture. Long live New York City.

    Justice, like equality, is drawn from that which we can appreciate enough to preserve, protect, and to share. Sure, I’d put a flag over that!

    Details and methods, on the other hand, and as always, remain debatable… News at 10. Scrutiny to follow. Elections to boot.

    …And boot IS the word of the day, people, in all its many uses and forms… Walk on.

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