What's behind Dire Straits of America (aka the Twitter Flag design)


purescue's recent Dire Straits of America (print and tee) was inspired by Milton Glaser and Mirko Ilic's The Design of Dissent (2012). In the book, Glaser and Ilic present socially and politically driven graphics from the last ~100 years that tell stories of resistance. It was Shi-Zhe Yung's Corporate American Flag graphic that inspired purescue to use the American flag as a symbol of protest.    

One can respect the American flag (and for which it stands) and still leverage it as a patriotic symbol of protest. 

This became much clearer after listening to Brian Lehrer interview Tim Marshall. Marshall, author of A Flag Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of National Symbols (2017), provided a useful definition of Patriotism vs. Nationalism:

Patriotism is a love of one's own [country] and a respect for others' [countries]. 

Nationalism is a love of one's own [country] and a contempt for others' [countries].

You can fly the same flag in both ways.

Dire Straits of America (aka the Twitter Flag) is meant to symbolize the outsized role Twitter now plays in American politics. Yes, Twitter and social media provide many benefits in politics and for society but, POTUS' use is immature, embarrassing and harmful. 


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