Prior to 9/11 I remember being aware of the abundance of non-American flags hung up on houses and on the bumpers of cars. Italian, Irish, Mexican and Jamaican flags were everywhere, but it seemed somewhat rare to see an American flag outside of a Forth of July or Memorial Day parade, or a state/federal building. Most everyone has heritage outside of the US but it was, and still is, the norm to flaunt that international nationality even if only a grandmother ever truly lived in the homeland. Foreign heritage is what makes everyone in the US unique and the US flag doesn’t distinguish anyone enough to give them an instant identity. It’s like wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt to Disney World. It lacks the irony to be hip, and it’s already apparent that the wearer is a fan of Disney by their mere presence at the park (and the photo with a sweaty, underpaid Ariel). The US flag can be seen as redundant and tacky, but all of this changed for a few months after 9/11.