Wednesday, May 31, 2006

America the Dutiful?

See this flag? It's kind of blurry, I know. But can you read that blue text on the part between the flag and the stick?

I took this picture on Memorial Day when my family and I went to a baseball game for the heck of it. Free tickets. Why not? The kids were given mini flags upon entrance. They waved them happily; not out of patriotism, of course. They just love new toys. We were escorted to our seats and we watched the action around us as we waited for the game to start. Then Husband noticed something. He laughed. "The American flag is Made in China." I looked closer at Son's little national symbol and indeed there it was, bold and proud: NOT made in the U.S.A.

So what is that about, I wondered. It made me think of my business. My business partner and I make puzzles. Cost is a huge concern of ours. The cheaper we can make something, the better for all. Or is it? We're concerned about quality and not being able to control it over the vast oceans so we don't want to go there, as so many of our business counterparts have. What exactly ever happened to that Made in the U.S.A. campaign, anyway? I, for one, am tired of having to call India and decipher the accent when my computer or some other feat of technology breaks down.

And patriotism? Well, I tell you. As African-Americans, loyalty to this nation is a double-edged sword. After all, we're the only people who were brought here against our collective will. So for us it was, is and will probably always be a touchy subject. Just know that, dear reader, and save yourself the argument. Slight tangent. Back to the issue at hand.

Overall, we are Americans, are we not? Are we really so commerce-driven that we can't even make a simple plastic flag within our own borders for fear of not getting back triple what we paid for it? Sigh. I just wanted to show you this picture and let you conjure up your own thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Made in China made me laugh. Then it made me sad.

African Americans were not the only people brought to America against their will. Chinese were brought in as coolie labor. And there is still trafficing in labor from many countries (and laws in the US that prohibit it, but don't completely stop it, either).

I live pretty close to China. I see Chinese workers on a daily basis where I live, too. While the products made in China are "cheaper" in terms of dollars, the cost in terms of human sacrifice is great. The terms and conditions of work for Chinese nationals are not good.

Wish more Americans were thinking of these things.

Monica said...

Thank you for that comment, Anonymous! (Though I wish you weren't anonymous.) Indeed, I for one do think of things like that, though I admit it's not my first thought. Nevertheless, it's good to know that this is problematic on both sides of the ocean and many times that very issue comes up in the news or what have you, but clearly it's not making enough of a dent in the brains of corporate America, China and whereever else work conditions are poor. I simply don't get it.

I appreciate your feedback.