“It has become so to-day that when you see the flag boldly and proudly displayed you smell a rat somewhere. The flag has become a cloak to hide iniquity. We have two American flags always: one for the rich and one for the poor. When the rich fly it it means that things are under control; when the poor fly it it means danger, revolution, anarchy. ”
Author Henry Miller wrote this in 1941 during a cross-country road trip of the United States of America. He had lived in Paris during the 1930s and settled in California after returning to the States, as described in the Air-Conditioned Nightmare.
I apply Henry Millers mid 20th century observations to the 21st century ornamental habit practiced by Congressional elites, Cabinet members and corporate executives — the wearing small U.S. flag pins on their suit lapels. Do they control the flag and what it stands for?
The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, Henry Miller, New Directions Publishing Corp, 1945, p. 37.
Henry Miller Online Resources:
A review of Air-Conditioned Nightmare that appeared in The Satirist.
Henry Miller website by Valentine Miller, his daughter.
Nexus, The Henry Miller Journal.
Henry Miller Memorial Library, Big Sur, California