Friday, May 30, 2008

Rachael Ray's scarf and defeating symbolism

When I can do many better things with my time, I decided to blog about the most contentious issue - Symbolism. The story goes - RR's ad of a coffee was pulled off the media because she was seen wearing a spotted scarf similar to an Arabic pattern often used by terrorists of Hamas and PLO. The scarf could offend many as it could be seen as a support to what these terrorists stand for. Symbols, flags, stamps etc what do they do? Lets go back in history. Flags were used by ancient armies and empires to represent them, as Roman army had one. Flags are still being used by World's standing armies and battalions to impart a feeling of uniqueness, ego or a sense of belonging for a community or for psychological warfare against an enemy. Flag is part of an identity of a nation as well. Do you know of any flag-less country? Flag is my identity and it is a symbol that I belong. What if two civilized nations with independent governments decide to have an exact same flag? No it won't happen. It is also a recognition of an entity. Because we say "Nice to meet you". You who is different from me but an identity that I have decided to respect and recognize.
The first step to defeat an enemy is to derecognize their symbols. Losing an identity is the biggest set back. Have you ever thought what will happen if towns paint all its walls with the flags of an attacking nation and still continue to fight them off? Will it make any sense? No. Not at least for the attacking army as they lose their identity. Can we let a scarf, a pattern be used as a recognition of an entity that we stand against? No, because Its the Righteous who do not change their ways. We should not be this weak to let a pattern offend us. Let the enemy struggle with symbols, why should we?

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