Patriotic Chinese Flags
edited: Thursday, November 14, 2002
By Nomde P. Lum
Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2002
Become a Fan
An excerpt from my new book, *Discordant Sound.*
Back in May 1999, when President Clinton was bombing Yugoslavia during his splendid little war with that country, American bombers made a slight error and bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, killing three people. Clinton did what he had become good at-i. e., offer an apology, but the Chinese government was not satisfied. In many Chinese cities there were completely spontaneous government-supported demonstrations against the U. S. During one of these demonstrations, which targeted the U. S. and British embassies in Beijing, some of the spontaneous demonstrators took an American flag, which someone had thoughtfully set alight, and tried to “ram a van and hurl [the]...flag through the U. S. embassy’s main gate.” Chinese cops seem to have stopped the spontaneous demonstrators before they could finish their fun (see CHINESE ATTACK US, BRIT EMBASSIES By John Leicester. The Associated press, Saturday, May 8, 1999 at 1348 EDT, Beijing (AP)).
My question is, where did the demonstrators get an American flag to burn? Did they order it over the Internet from an American flag company? Or did they use a flag which had been manufactured in China?
I know that there are places in China which make U. S. flags. I know this because I saw the “made in China” label on flags being sold recently in an office supply store. I saw the “made in China” label again on what appeared to be a bandana with an American flag motif. The bandana was being sold in a convenience store. It’s good to know that whoever makes these flags in China is making a profit off of America’s current orgasm of nationalistic emotion.
Imagine the scene at a hypothetical Chinese flag factory back in 1999:
Worker: “Boss, it’s a guy from the People’s Ministry for Spontaneous Demonstrations. He wants 300 American flags.”
Owner: “300 American flags? What the *&^% are they going to do with 300 American flags?”
Worker: “I don’t know, boss, but he also asked if we had any bootleg CDs that played ‘Come on, Baby, Light My Fire.’”
Fast-forward to 2001. Scene: The very same factory.
Worker: “Boss, the phones are ringing off the hook. A bunch of American importers are looking for cheap American flags.”
Owner: “Well, they’ve come to the right place! We have the cheapest flags around.”
Worker: “Boss, how come we can sell these flags so cheap?”
Owner: “Obviously because we have less overhead costs than the competition.”
Worker: “What are overhead costs, boss?”
Owner: “You know, things like wages.”
Worker: “But boss, you don’t pay us any wages. We’re all convicts serving sentences for criticizing the government.”
Owner: “That’s exactly the point! Zero is about as low as you can get with overhead costs. If I paid you wages, then that would be wage slavery, which Karl Marx specifically condemned.”
Worker: “You mean that wage slavery is worse than actual, literal slavery?”
Owner: “You’re a real wise guy. I can see how you got convicted.
[end of excerpt]