It’s time once again for the FIFA World Cup, and yet again the streets of
Manchester are awash with crosses – and once more the only reaction I can muster is a feeling of intense befuddlement. St. George’s
Your regular garden variety patriotism I can just about grasp – while I disagree with the idea I can almost, (but not quite) understand it. If the people with the cheap flags bolted to their cars also had full sized flagpoles in their yards which they attended to every morning and evening with chocked throats and tears welling, then I could understand a vast outpouring of pride every four years. I’d still think it was utterly ridiculous, but I'd at least note their consistency.
That’s not the case though – the people who’ve picked up cheap flags from the local supermarket for the duration of the world cup stay away from this more “American” style of patriotism – if they’re at all patriotic for the rest of the time, then it’s a crafty new form of patriotism – a ‘stealth patriotism’.