This house in Berlin, Maryland, displays three American icons: a stoop, a Bald Eagle and the Stars and Stripes.  I can’t claim to know the United States very well – just three visits as a tourist – but I get the impression that the Stars and Stripes is flown or worn by ordinary people as an unselfconscious sign of genuine patriotism.  In Britain flags were flown traditionally from public buildings and rarely elsewhere.  In recent years the Cross of St George and the Union Flag, or Union Jack, have become ubiquitous, the first associated with the lost cause of English football, the second with strident strains of English nationalism.  There is a self-consciousness about these domestic displays of chauvinism.

Photo: Berlin, Maryland, USA, April 2011

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