Flying the flag of my people

The foreshadowing, from my 7/31 posting “If you squint, you can see Switzerland”:

I have not celebrated Swiss National Day [August 1st] with any sort of Carnivalesque disorder, though I did decide to acquire a mid-sized Gay Pride flag to display at my condo, now that one of my neighbors in the complex has somehow surmounted the HOA ban on such displays with a big rainbow flag on a balcony and a Black Lives Matter sign on the street.

My intention was realized yesterday, with the arrival of this excellent 2×3 ft product of the U.S. Flag Factory:

(#1) (photos, at dawn today, by Kim Darnell)

Just the size I wanted, to fit this particular space. Hanging from a nail once used for Christmas wreaths, when those were one of the few allowable public displays in the complex. The flag’s on the gate to my front patio (you can see the light from my workspace, through the window), along the short entryway to my condo from the street. So it is indeed a public display, visibly celebrating gayness to anyone who walks by on the street.

(I wonder if it’s too generically celebratory, like the rainbow flag that the local Pizzeria Delfina flies above its door — and unlike the rainbow flags flown by some local churches, which are signs of sanctuary and care. Maybe I should get a plaque made for the door: GAY INSIDE. I wonder if I could get a welcome mat made with that on it.)

The other thing about the flag in #1 is that it’s made the way all flags were once made, by stitching together pieces of dyed fabric. (In #1 the fabric is the decidedly modern SolarMax Nylon.) These days, many flags are made by printing onto the fabric. But sewn flags have texture, and crisp borders between the differently colored areas. Here’s a section of #1 up close, so that you can appreciate these features:

(#2) I find the effect aesthetically very pleasing

USFF is prepared to craft custom flags of almost any design you want, printed onto Hercules Polyester; well, they might balk at an image of coitally engaged gigantophallic Tom of Finland men, or even at impudent slogans like GAY AS FUCK.

The company and its products. On their website:

Flags made for Americans made in America

Since 1987 U.S. Flag Factory has produced and sold millions of high quality U.S., State, International and Advertising flags. With US Flag Factory you know you are getting a great product at manufacturer direct prices. Buy from the source!!

The flag categories include: Armed Forces (and POW-MIA) flags, state flags, international flags, message and marketing flags, rainbow flags, “religious” flags (= the Christian Flag), attention flags (checkered flags for races, red flags for attention, etc.); and, yes, “historical” (Confederate Battle and Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me”) flags. Plus poles, brackets, stands, decorative pole tops, and the like.

There’s a hyper-patriotic, militant true-American (and evangelical Christian) edge to this that repels me; the American flag (the company’s central offering) is easily bent to triumphalist, exclusionary purposes. But then the company does have quite a range of rainbow flags, celebrating all sorts.

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