Thursday, May 14, 2009

En overraskelse i vinduet ... A surprise in the window

I dag da jeg cyklede hjem fra skolen, lagde jeg mærke til noget i en lejligheds vindue.... noget at jeg ALDRIG forventede at se i Danmark. Og noget som er en texan/amerikansk ting som jeg ikke er stolt af.... Jeg ville banke på døren for at se hvem bor her, men det gjorde jeg ikke. I stedet for tog jeg et billede og cyklede resten af vejen hjem.

Today as I rode my bike home from the school, I saw something in an apartment window...something that I NEVER expected to see in Denmark; something that is a Texas/American thing that I am not proud of... I wanted to go and knock on the door and see who lives there, but I did not. Instead, I just took a picture and rode the rest of the way home.


N said...

Oh boy, the ignorance of some people...I once saw this flag in my friend's brother's room. He's Taiwanese for God's sake! What is there to hate?

May said...

I'm terribly ignorant, but I don't know what it signifies?

BABS said...

I wouldn't worry about it. I've seen loads of those flags up in Danish homes, it's just a souvenir. Like the Danes love London and have all sorts of English stuff as 'cool' in their homes, they do the same with what they perceive to be 'American' bits.

They don't know what they are doing, and I see the swastika grafitti'd all over the place without people understanding what it means. It's the same as the dannebrog, it's just a thing they do without thinking about it.

All quite innocent and naive I suppose.

Occasionally I have attempted to get into a conversation about these flags and banners that are so popular here, but it tends to fall on deaf ears. It's a mindset that doesn't want to change. They also have a whole other language that isn't politically correct such as the way physically challenged people are still called 'handicapped' etc.

Mind you, I would love for someone to start a wave of enlightenment here, maybe you should knock on that door? Or explain to us why you wouldn't have that flag in your home?


MoMo 2.0 said...

There may be others like May who do not know what this flag is...

It is the Confederate Flag of the 11 southern states that seceeded from the US during the Civil War.. for a variety of reasons, but the main reason was the issue of slavery.

(You can read more here on wikipedia--

I am sure this is a harmless Dane who, like Babs said, has a souvenir from the US...but to someone who is vehemently opposed to racism and racist thought, I am offended every time I see it. It makes my blood boil because to me, it represents a time when the decision makers of my homestate believed that the white man was superior over the African American. I had to explain to Mads as well why it bothers me so much.... it represents IGNORANCE and HATE. And when I saw it hanging in a window in Herning, I was disappointed especially if this is a souvenir... I can think of many other great things to represent a visit to the US....

BABS said...

I am so grateful to you Kelli, for explaining why this particular banner is so offensive.

Many people feel the same way about the Union Jack (and some feel the same way about the Dannebrog as we have seen this being burnt too). A flag can mean so much more than pride.

It can also mean shame too.

I hope that people reading your blog have been educated, I love your informative way of writing and how it opens up discussion and leads to understanding.

Archaeogoddess said...

Oh for the love of god, of all the souvenirs to bring home! It's funny how Danes get all upset if you do something to the holy Dannebrog, but everyone else's flags are just pieces of cloth to turn into scarfs and amusing souvenirs in windows.

Then again, I know Americans who will freak out if you let the corner of the flag touch the ground and yet think US flag underwear is patriotic... as long as it was Made In America, of course.

May said...

Thanks for explaining, Kelli, I can see why you're upset over seeing the flag here. I'm guessing it's a souvenir and the people living there have no idea what it signifies. I'm with Babs here and think they should be informed some way or the other.

Babs, I think "handicapped" suffers from a direct translation, as the word is used in Danish and not considered politically incorrect, it's a word I'd use about myself if my disabilites become worse. I don't think I've ever used anything but physically disabled when speaking English, but this is because it's the word I hear and see used all the time when speaking English, but until you mentioned it here, I actually didn't know that "handicapped" was a politically incorrect word in English - from now on I'm going to make sure not to use in when speaking English. :)

I'm learning a lot of things today and it's interesting how a whole situation changes, because of one's knowledge or cultural background. I saw a colourful flag in a window, Kelli saw a symbol of racism.

And that a word can be the correct word in one language and an insult in another language. I experienced it myself when I lived in Switzerland and saw a word commonly used in German TV about a certain type of celebrity. The word is identical in German and Danish and means the same in both languages, but it is very offensive in Denmark (so offensive I don't want to write it in someone else's blog *lol*) and not so in Germany and Switzerland.

United Studies said...

We see those flags all the time here in Virginia, but most people don't display them as a sign of hatred or prejudice anymore. They see it as a sign of pride in their heritage. They honestly do not associate the flag with that time period anymore. So it doesn't really bother me.

What bothers me is when I see the actions and hear the words of those who are still prejudice. Like one time I had to speak up at Walmart because some old white woman made a nasty remark to a young black woman.

Kevin said...

Whoa. That picture is shocking. Innocent souvenir or not, even the law states that "ignorance is no excuse."

And then of course, we have Gov. Goodhair advocating secession again. I absolutely love my adopted home state, but the levels of ignorance and hate really get to me sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you SHOULD knock on their door and explain what the flag actually means. Like Babs said, I am sure the Dane who put it on the window had no clue the meaning behind the flag, and I think it's never harmful to make one people in the world smarter than before :)

LadyFi said...

Oh Kelli, I understand.. must be a terrible thing to see. Even if it is a souvenir, that doesn't make it right. I mean, is a swastika a good souvenir of Germany? I don't think so.

Caution/Lisa said...

I am in no way endorsing that flag, but there are still many areas in my home state where it signifies independence from the Federal government. It seems like a stretch, I know, but that's what it means to some.

Brenda from Guelph said...

Hi Kelli,

Growing up in northern Ontario, that flag was seen and still is seen all over, mostly in the back window of pickup trucks.

Here it only means "rebeldom" - those flying it trying to tell the world that they are a "rebel" - not mainstream society.

There is no connection to slavery in the minds of those showing it. I understand your feelings though and respect them.

As a tidbit: Most people are not aware that slavery was abolished in Canada in 1792. Sadly, that terrible practice was worldwide but the US "takes the hit for it" in the minds of almost all.

I hope this eases slightly your angst at seeing it.

All the best Kelli and congratulations on you passing your exams - what a girl !! :)

Fuzzy said...

Yee Haw! Oops.

I don't know if it's any consolation, but there are much worse things in windows here, like Nazi symbols, and people who get a kick out of wearing actual Nazi uniforms. I sometimes go to parties and run into these people. It's never easy to know how to react.

But yeah, a Confederate Flag is just not right. Confederate flags and lawn jockeys, are never acceptable, even when barely understood in the historical context.

Lisa said...

Kelli, I have had these same conversations with my hubby who is from AR. He truley gets mad at the fact that most people look at that flag as a symbol of racism. He really does feel that it is a pride of the south thing. He is not racist at all so I don't get why he wouldn't hate that flag as much as I do.