There can be humor in patriotism.

This photograph appears in this week's New Yorker Magazine side by side with a brief article about Michelle Obama's preference to go sleeveless. The two gentlemen in the image are Thakoon Panichgul, left, and Jason Wu on the right. The First Lady has chosen fashions designed by both of these men. If you don't know, Jason Wu is also the designer/creator of the Fashion Royalty doll, AvantGuard, Valia and several other Integrity Toy doll lines. He created dolls in the likeness of the First Lady of Drag, RuPaul and transsexual Amanda Lepore. Mrs. Obama wore a gown designed by Jason in which to attend the inaugural balls.

I saw the image prior to getting the print article as another collector posted it on one of the doll boards. I liked it immediately. I see the symbolism of being protected by the flag and holding it dear. Jason is holding the flag to his heart. This photograph is tame by Jason's standards.

Two other collectors were completely offended by the use of the flag. They felt it was disrespectful in every way. I don't see a speck of disrespect at all. I see two great-looking young men posed with a big beautiful, if somewhat old, flag. There's humor in patriotism here. I suppose that the nuanced emotions are too hard for many to understand. No attack against the USA was intended at all.

If you want to be offended, here's your chance:

How about this "Casey Anthony Barbie" being offered for sale on Craig's list?

I don't know the story behind this but there appears to be a great deal of controversy surrounding the entire thing. Since the dress closes with velcro, it's just as crappy as most Mattel items. ;-). Too bad someone ruined a perfectly good flag.

I just spent the last 30 minutes searching images of flag wearing or abusive behavior. Three offensive images were of non-Americans burning the flag with glee. One was a group of American protestors holding the flag upsidedown. I also found these adorable photos among many more beautiful others.
It is part of being a doll collector to read and deal with the opinions of others on topics other than doll collecting. Do you know what an A.F.G.O. is?


  1. Another Fine Growth Opportunity. I have not problem with the flag picture. I find it tastefully done and an expression of patriotism.

  2. Well put, Terri. I just love reading your insightful blog. Thanks for this post. Two thumbs up!

  3. Thanks so much for posting this. Of course there is no disrepect intended. I would suppose the baby eating the flag and the dog wearing a flag bandana would be considered "unpatriotic" from those who were offended by Wu's quirky photograph.

    Freedom of expression in this country is what makes us who we are. In the 70s, wearing clothing made of the U.S. flag was considered unpatriotic. Now one regularly sees clothing made of flags and no one flinches. ... Americans have every right to wear the flag, wave the flag, salute the flag, put the flag on their dolls, or, yes, burn the flag. Attempting to stop us from doing any of the above is the true meaning of unpatriotic.

  4. Thank you for posting this photo. I am not American, and therefore my vote maybe does not count, but I don not see anything disrespectful in that photo. I am only wondering if it is ok for the flag to be touching the ground at any time? (in my native country a flag that has touched ground can no longer be used and has to be replaced, officially)

    I think they are as entitled to wear the flag over thei shoulders as any athlete etc. I have only seen one small discussion about this, where someone asked if these designers are American" as at leas Jason was not born in the USA. It left me wondering if the person asking is Native American, since with that logic Native Americans would be the only Americans.

  5. There is a Flag Code which contains suggested behavior regarding the American Flag. None of it is law and doing the opposite does not incur punishment or fines.

    You are correct. The flag is not supposed to touch the ground according to the code.

    I can tell that you realize that you do not have to be born in the US to ultimately become a citizen.

  6. Amy Nardone3/25/09, 5:14 PM

    Thank you for this picture! I think it actually captured the beauty of our country and the designers at the same time!!