Marcy just asked how we feel about flags. I didn’t even remember that it’s the Fourth of July weekend; my first thought was about the draft cover for Global Perspectives on the United States, which does include a lot of flags. But it turns out that she was wondering about flags on stamps–postal stamps. Instead of the neutral first-class stamps we generally use, or the historical sports stamps we prefer but can never get enough of, someone had bought rolls of stamps bearing the American flag.
No, I said, after a moment’s reflection, we don’t want flags on our letters. We’re busy trying to convince our colleagues and contributors that we really, truly want to know what they think, that we have a global perspective. I lived in England for years and left, in part, because I no longer wanted to live in a country where I couldn’t vote (or run for office), and I simply couldn’t bring myself to apply for UK citizenship–because I am, in my bones, an American. But I still hate the pomp and posturing that are so often part of US patriotism, and I want to see something on the letters and packages that Berkshire Publishing sends around the world that will better represent this nation’s diversity, creativity, and rich history. On Tuesday the flag stamps will go back and we’ll see if we can get football players instead–or wild flowers.