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Old 31-08-2012, 04:20   #46
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Re: Would you ever hide your Ensign?

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i like to keep him busy on deck cos hes so pretty
For me, still being in the Navy, I would like to put mine under a rock!
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Old 31-08-2012, 05:12   #47
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Re: Would You Ever Hide Your Ensign?

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I have been thinking on this. My feelings are a bit mixed. When we travel and someone asks where we are from we always say "San Francisco".

With the exception of the occasional American with Conservative opinions it always garners a very positive response. It identifies us as US citizens, but also as Americans with a broader view of the world.
I can accept that San Fransisco is one of the cities around the world that most people know, like New York, London, Paris, Stuttgart, Tokyo, Sydney, Buenos Aires, and others.

Living somewhere doesn't necessarily make one a citizen but no big deal - it's a reasonable implication.

How do you get to "Americans with a broader view of the world?" How does living in SF automatically put you in that category? SkyNews over breakfast? Pen pals in Morocco? A Dutch guy delivers beer three times a week with your milk? Your logic honestly escapes me.

I've lived and worked out of the US a lot and I gotta tell you, ugly American jokes are alive and well. Let's not make it easier, okay?
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Old 31-08-2012, 05:51   #48
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Re: Would You Ever Hide Your Ensign?

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On the extremely rare occasion that this comes up, I point out that none of the other terms are any more precise, as a number of other countries, such as Mexico, also have "estados unidos de" in their official names.

I find it much more common for people to take one look at me and say "ah, tu eres americano."
Mate, that just it so much worse when those from the USA say something like "yeah, buddy, we are flying home to the States."

And I say nothing, look at my Chilean mates and we silently ask each other, "does this person really think there is NO OTHER COUNTRY in the world that has the word STATES in it?"

Even if they say UNITED STATES, as you so wisely pointed out, there are other countries whose official name commences with THE UNITED STATES OF ....... we just roll our eyes.

But the worst is when a Chilean / Argentinian / Brazilian / etc looks at my white skin and blue eyes and calls me a Norteamericano. Never an Americano.

Compadre, I am a bloody Aussie (from Brisbane, no less) and I have been living in your continent for a couple of decades, speak your language and know all the slang! I go for them at full belt! If we are in Argentina, I call them the slang words for a Chilean and vice versa, obviously entwined with a huge grin and lots of laughter. Then I teach them the difference between poms, yanks, kiwis, aussies, yarpies, etc...

Ha Ha! The yanquis are not the only ones with stereotypes.... the whole world does it!
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Old 31-08-2012, 06:11   #49
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Re: Would you ever hide your Ensign?

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Any place where i thought my countries flag would provoke a negative reaction, is not a place i would be going to anyway...
And a great, big DITTO!
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Old 31-08-2012, 08:32   #50
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Re: Would You Ever Hide Your Ensign?

The good news for US folks is that come November you will all be able to fly the flag of Planet Kolob (for the non US readers - that is the home planet of Cheeses. and Mitt ).
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Old 31-08-2012, 09:18   #51
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Re: Would You Ever Hide Your Ensign?

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WOW! So I should say I am from Brisbane and just assume that everyone "knows" my nationality?

You assume foreigners know where your city is, but the incorrect identification of your own nationality staggers your southern neighbours and would fail a primary school geography exam.

Food for thought?
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How do you get to "Americans with a broader view of the world?" How does living in SF automatically put you in that category?

I've lived and worked out of the US a lot and I gotta tell you, ugly American jokes are alive and well. Let's not make it easier, okay?
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Even if they say UNITED STATES, as you so wisely pointed out, there are other countries whose official name commences with THE UNITED STATES OF ....... we just roll our eyes.

Ha Ha! The yanquis are not the only ones with stereotypes.... the whole world does it!
There is an advantage, in this case, of living in a city pretty much known around the world. I have never said "I am from San Francisco" and had someone ask "where is that?"

If I lived in San Jose, or Oakland, I guess I would have to come up with another answer.

The larger question of how to appropriately identify oneself as being a citizen of the United States of America is more complicated.

A brief look thru the criticisms here bar the use of America or American, because there are other countries in the Americas, north and south. None of them have America in their name to my knowledge, but since they can claim the geographical connection, in the same way Europeans and Africans can self identify as African or European, that's a fine argument as far as I am concerned. I don't use the term "American" myself, for just that reason.

Also barred is the US, because there are other United States, most noteworthy our southern neighbours, The United States of Mexico. Of course they can default to Mexico with no one raising a stink, while those from The United States of America risk ridicule or offense if they follow the same convention.

So we are stuck with the fact that hundreds of years ago Britain dubbed their footholds on the North American continent the "American Colonies" and the name stuck. American Colonies became American States which united and became the USA. There is no easy politically acceptable short version.

It's a bit like a kid on the playground with a burdensome embarrassing family name which they are both proud and mortified of at the same time. Because after all, children on the play ground can be cruel for no good reason at all, can't they?

As for Ugly Americans, I find there are 'Ugly Everyones', from everywhere. Citizens of the United States of America have no corner on that market.

And if you don't understand the world image San Francisco holds and why, when you come from here, it makes it easier to be identified as someone who is not likely to hold the sort of nation-centric attitudes sometimes ascribed to Citizens of the United States of America, well all I can say is come visit. You will figure it out quick enough ; -)

When a conversation about flying national flags results in this sort of critical commentary about a country, it's not surprising that some USA citizens might find it easier to strike their colours when in some foreign ports, rather than having to listen to all the static from folks who are glad to assume that stereotypes and caricatures of us are the whole picture and treat us accordingly. Sometimes it's not worth trying to educate those who haven't bothered to educate themselves.
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Old 31-08-2012, 09:28   #52
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Re: Would You Ever Hide Your Ensign?

doj--please send me one...
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Old 31-08-2012, 09:42   #53
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Re: Would You Ever Hide Your Ensign?

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doj--please send me one...
Gotta wait until November for it to become official

and at that point everyone in the US will also be able to say they are citizens of Planet Kolob (after the baptism thing).

So won't be any confusion about which geographic area (of earth) you come from. The price of that will be endless comments along the lines of "Take me to your leader.........."
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Old 31-08-2012, 10:07   #54
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Re: Would You Ever Hide Your Ensign?

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Generally, people around the world are NOT going to shoot, or otherwise molest you because you come from a certain country. Most people are quite able to disconnect your country's actions from you personally.

Unfortunately, there are extremists who are not able to do that. Those are the ones you have to watch out for.
It's not as simple as nationalism. Ok, in certain places they'll skin you simply for coming from "The Great Satan", but it is deeper than simply a flag or a line in your passport. Plus, that kind of person would take great offence at being called an extremist. If you look at their argument, they are correct. Over here in the Eussr, US-hating is widespread and increasing. When I encounter the more virulent forms, I ask them if they think the wrong side won WW2 and the Cold War, and the crap temporarily stops flowing. Flags are an emblem of a shared ideal...and the shared ideal is very often just a smoke and mirrors show. Nowadays I wouldn't fly the flag unless I absolutely had to. Unpatriotic? Depends on the definition.

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Old 31-08-2012, 10:22   #55
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Re: Would You Ever Hide Your Ensign?

when i was in europe in 1971, anti usa was already prevalent.....
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Old 31-08-2012, 10:41   #56
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Re: Would You Ever Hide Your Ensign?

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There is an advantage, in this case, of living in a city pretty much known around the world. I have never said "I am from San Francisco" and had someone ask "where is that?"

If I lived in San Jose, or Oakland, I guess I would have to come up with another answer.

The larger question of how to appropriately identify oneself as being a citizen of the United States of America is more complicated.

A brief look thru the criticisms here bar the use of America or American, because there are other countries in the Americas, north and south. None of them have America in their name to my knowledge, but since they can claim the geographical connection, in the same way Europeans and Africans can self identify as African or European, that's a fine argument as far as I am concerned. I don't use the term "American" myself, for just that reason.

Also barred is the US, because there are other United States, most noteworthy our southern neighbours, The United States of Mexico. Of course they can default to Mexico with no one raising a stink, while those from The United States of America risk ridicule or offense if they follow the same convention.

So we are stuck with the fact that hundreds of years ago Britain dubbed their footholds on the North American continent the "American Colonies" and the name stuck. American Colonies became American States which united and became the USA. There is no easy politically acceptable short version.

It's a bit like a kid on the playground with a burdensome embarrassing family name which they are both proud and mortified of at the same time. Because after all, children on the play ground can be cruel for no good reason at all, can't they?

As for Ugly Americans, I find there are 'Ugly Everyones', from everywhere. Citizens of the United States of America have no corner on that market.

And if you don't understand the world image San Francisco holds and why, when you come from here, it makes it easier to be identified as someone who is not likely to hold the sort of nation-centric attitudes sometimes ascribed to Citizens of the United States of America, well all I can say is come visit. You will figure it out quick enough ; -)

When a conversation about flying national flags results in this sort of critical commentary about a country, it's not surprising that some USA citizens might find it easier to strike their colours when in some foreign ports, rather than having to listen to all the static from folks who are glad to assume that stereotypes and caricatures of us are the whole picture and treat us accordingly. Sometimes it's not worth trying to educate those who haven't bothered to educate themselves.
Don't take it too personally, Sarafina! There are plenty of people who do not know where San Francisco is. In spite of your belief to the contrary.

But you know what? There are very few citizens of the USA that I haven't loved during our first meeting. Individually they are mostly fantastic people. HaHa Is that a contradiction?

Recently we invited only 3 people from all our friends to crew with us - a kiwi, an estadounidense and an aussie. Sounds like a jke, but it's not. The only person who could come at the time was from the USA. I suggested he bring his own flag to hang on the port shroud along with the Aussie and Chilean flags. He was a little unsure, but we encouraged him to do so. He is a great bloke and was one of the select 3 that was on our own private short list of those having the right personality to sail with us, in spite of the fact that we had known him for only a couple of months, while the other two on our short list we had known for more than 25 years.

Some of the other nationalist stuff and especially your country's name tends to cause confusion. Don't blame the Brits. Sort it out yourselves! Educate the masses, educate yourselves!

Note that you will not find many from France joining two continents together and calling themselves Eurasian. Nor will you find Ugandans calling themselves Urafricans, nor Thais calling themselves Austasian, nor Brazilians calling themselves Americans (even though they are). Only one country's citizens claims their own nationality to include two complete continents and doesn't even have the "broader view of the world" to realise that it might annoy others who share the same continents. Blame old George W., hey? Or the Brits?
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Old 31-08-2012, 11:05   #57
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Re: Would You Ever Hide Your Ensign?

I've never even though about taking down my Canadian ensign. To me, it's a sign that says something between Welcome and Cold Beer.

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Old 31-08-2012, 11:43   #58
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Re: Would You Ever Hide Your Ensign?

How many USA backpackers have you come across with a maple leaf sewn on their backpack? Plenty.

I have never seen that particular conversion on a boat, but I do know that my old man substituted the Aussie flag for the Swiss flag on his boat when the bombing of Gulf War II began while he was in a Muslim country!

In early 1990 (Gulf War I), I was in Indonesia and the locals asked me why the Australian military were bombing and killing their "Muslim brothers." They were genuinely curious and I just said our politicians were idiots. Was never a problem.
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Old 31-08-2012, 12:00   #59
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Re: Would You Ever Hide Your Ensign?

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As for Ugly Americans, I find there are 'Ugly Everyones', from everywhere. Citizens of the United States of America have no corner on that market.
I sat for lunch on patio in Provence near Chateau-neuf-du-Pape and quickly noticed that the two other tables were occupied by Americans, which was unsurprising given the town was replete with them visiting for the annual wine festival. Eventually we all stated talking as a group when we realized this but the conversation was dominated by a 30 something couple who had been loud and annoying in their original 'private conversation'. They truly were the 'ugly americans, loud, obnoxious, and with an incredibly patronizing view of the locals. The second older couple were absolutely lovely to chat with.


I should mention that the first couple were from Toronto and the second from Boston. Ugly everyone's indeed. Stereotypes!
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Old 31-08-2012, 14:01   #60
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Why do I feel like this thread has turned into a bash America, apologist thread? Look if you're a citizen of the United States of America (my passport actually displays that) apologize, hide, hang your head all you want. A few of us may actually be very proud of our mother nation and fly the ensign proudly. I do.
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