I took a tour of a famous Chicago church over the weekend. Great architecture, beautiful windows, lots of gilt and color. While we were going through towards the brightly lit alter, the tour guide asked who in the group was of Irish or German heritage and I tentatively raised my hand, being equal parts both. She explained that it was those two cultural groups who came from their native lands to Chicago to build this church, and waxed comedic by commenting that the whole building was built by stubborn attitudes and beer.
It did get me thinking about where we’ve all come from. Being a true country of immigrants we are none of us just American, but also Irish, German, French, Russian, Haitian and thousands of other things, often melted together after centuries of blended families. And now with family tree websites making these ancestral discoveries easier to come by, many people are proudly Italian American, or Polish or Japanese. We all know where we come from, but we’re all still American. Which is why crossed flag pins are so popular.
These pieces depict two flags, one American, and one from another country entirely, and they cross halfway up their flagpoles. They are proudly worn on the lapels of those who hail from whatever combination is depicted. They’re a great image of where we’ve come from, and where we’re going, and especially in an election year, crossed flag pins will be utilized by both parties to cater to the different cultural voting blocks that they both want to win.
Outside of politics they’re often found in military outfits, sometimes minorities who come together through the Navy, Army, Air Force or Marines. You’ll see them at embassies where people from all over the world come together to solve problems and work together. You’ll even see them at summer festivals, such as “Irishfest” or “Germanfest”.
Crossed flag pins are a a neat way of telling others more about you without saying a word. They reflect pride, history, and respect for all it took to get from there to here. Where are you from?