Chauvinist Half-Wits, Flag Pins, and Other Fashion Statements

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Hinomaru

Hey! This is your lucky day. Today I’m going to show you how to pick out a Neanderthal in the crowd. Don’t be surprised, but they are all around you, really! Shhhh! Don’t stare! It’s actually pretty easy to spot a Neanderthal in the crowd. Not only do they sometimes have a heavy brow and an especially small forehead, they talk very loudly, and they are usually sporting a nationalist flag pin on their lapel. They are everywhere. You’ve seen them.

But first off, we’ve got to get the terminology of some fashion items’ names down pat. May we? Great. The first item that you need to know the name of is the Hinomaru. The Hinomaru literally translates into the "Round Sun." It is the flag of Japan. Even though Japan lost World War II, Japan still uses this flag. You can see the Hinomaru above government buildings in Japan or on buses during national holidays and such. One thing you probably won’t see is your average everyday Japanese sporting one of these Hinomaru flag lapel pins any day of the year. In fact, I don’t ever recall even seeing a Japanese Prime Minister sporting one of these pins. Why? I’ll get to that in a moment.

Nishoka

The next flag is the Nishoka. The Nishoka was used specifically by the old Japanese Imperial Navy. I personally think this design is pretty cool. You will rarely ever see one of these flags in Japan today. I guess if you go to a museum or such, you’ll find one. On national holidays in Japan you can sometimes see the Hinomaru on display in a very — very — few people’s homes, but I cannot recall even once seeing the Nishoka on public display. If you do see one of these flags on display in Japan today, that is a sign that the person displaying the flag is a nationalist. In most countries that have an educated populace in today’s modern world, being a nationalist is a sign of a poor education.

This next one is a real crowd pleaser: it’s called the Hakenkreuz. It was the symbol of the National Socialist Party of Germany from the 1920’s to 1945. I’ll bet that the Hakenkreuz was the tops in fashion back in the days when Germany was winning the war.

Hakenkreuz

But, today, in either of the two above-mentioned nations, you don’t see educated normal people wearing these types of things on their clothing anymore. Why? Well, the answer is obvious; wearing items like these on one’s clothing is a sign of oafish, thuggish behavior. Sporting these types of accessories tells people around you that you are not intelligentsia, that you are probably a right-winged nutcase and therefore, you have a poor education and don’t read. Admit it. I’m absolutely correct on this one, right? If you saw some Japanese guy or some German guy wearing one of these things, you’d think he were some sort of psychotic living in the past.

In fact, in Japan, this sort of bizarre behavior works great for some things: You don’t want any salesmen coming to your door? No visitors? You want everyone to be afraid of you so that no one would dare break into your apartment and rip you off? No problem. Just put a Hinomaru and a Nishoka on your door and mailbox. No one will even want to talk to you; including your own neighbors. Everyone will think you are some sort of fascist, and they will leave you alone. Because, you see, sporting these kinds of fashion accessories in a normal country full of normal people (like Japan) is a sign that you indeed are a right-winged nut and need to be left alone; if not institutionalized for your own safety.

It’s a sure bet that back in Nazi Germany there were lots of them too. It didn’t matter what was going on, they were there. Heck, what are a few dozen lost freedoms and a few major setbacks on the front to a true patriot, right? If you aren’t doing anything wrong, then what’s to fear from the Gestapo taping your phones? So what if it’s 2,500 kilometers lost on the Russian front, or a firebombing of Dresden? So what if it’s Russian troops entering Berlin? You’ve got to support the troops, right? My country right or wrong. These colors don’t run. To question the leadership is a cowardly and despicable act and truly anti-patriotic.

Am I confusing you? I shouldn’t be if you’d just stop to think about this for a moment. I must admit though, most probably a war veteran of any country should have the right to wear these types of “pledge pins.” Other’s do not. So whenever you see a Billy O’Reilly or Rush Limbaugh wearing their US Flag lapel pin, you can bet that you are actually witnessing a “rocket scientist” with intelligence on par to the level of the of a thug in the S.A. (Think Curly from the Three Stooges dressed up as a Nazi). I’m absolutely serious here folks, you can’t just make up stuff like this:

Nazi ‘Chic’?: Fashioning Women in the Third Reich (Dress, Body, Culture) by Irene Guenther
List Price: $28.95

We are all familiar with the stereotype of the German woman as either a Brunhilde in uniform or a chubby farmer’s wife. However, throughout the interwar period fashion was one of Germany’s largest industries and German women ranked among the most elegantly dressed in all of Europe. This book explores the failed attempt by the Nazi state to construct a female image that would mirror official gender policies, instill feelings of national pride, promote a German victory on the fashion runways of Europe, and support a Nazi-controlled European fashion industry. How did the few women with power maintain style and elegance? How did the majority experience the increased standardization of clothing characteristic of the Nazi years? How did women deal with the severe clothing restrictions brought about by Nazi policies and the exigencies of war? Nazi ‘Chic’? addresses these questions and many others, including the role of anti-Semitism, “aryanization,” and the hypocrisy of Nazi policies (emphasis mine).

What did I tell you? You just can’t make up stuff like this… Unless, of course, you are living under a fascist regime like Nazi Germany or today’s United States. Let’s face it, what’s more important: the truth or the nation? The nation, right? It doesn’t matter if the leader took the nation into a war on false pretenses — it’s safer and more fashionable to toe the party line. Those women and children were being discriminated against and savaged by those Poles in the Danzig Corridor. Saddam was an evil man. We had to go after them. The world is better off today. The revisionists can say all they want, but the leader had to act before the proof came in some terrible form like a mushroom cloud. Take it to them I say. Kill them all then let God sort them out.

We’ve got these Neanderthals in Japan too, but not very many. They are a rarity. Most people would be too embarrassed to walk around with flag pins on their lapels and idiotic bumper stickers on the cars that show everyone just how ill-educated and how low their I.Q.’s are. I mean, really, when you stop and think about it, if you went to any country in the world and saw some guy wearing his countries’ flag pin on their lapel and bumper stickers all over his car saying how his country is "God’s Country," you’d think he was a buffoon and had more than just a few screws loose, right? So what makes you think that Americans who do this aren’t anymore nuts than, say, a Nazi cheerleader or someone who cheers on Imperial Japan?

"Oh, but that’s different." You say? "Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan did lots of bad things like genocide, mass murder, and waging war of aggression." If you seriously thought this, even for a moment, then consider that you just may have some Neanderthal blood in you. Intelligent people recognize and admit that America has waged many wars of aggression and has committed genocide more than once. The only people who don’t agree with me here are the ill-educated Neanderthals…. You’ve seen them, they are everywhere in America: they are usually sporting a flag pin on their lapel.

"Oh, but America is different than Japan!" You say? It sure is brother. It sure is. Very few here are willing to show off how low their intelligence is by running around sporting nationalist fashions like morons.

Amen to that.

Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers [send him mail] was born and raised in the USA and moved to Japan in 1984. He has the distinction of being fired from every FM radio station in Tokyo — one of them three times. His first book, Schizophrenic in Japan, is now on sale.

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