Friday, February 12, 2010

Those are "Kill Flags"

Apparently Sports Illustrated decided not to run this picture, and unfortunately I agree with their decision, because of the potential/current backlash. The Nazi flags here signify that this pilot has at least three confirmed kills of German pilots (hopefully during WWII :-).

I find it funny that people are unfamiliar with this, but then I made a lot of model planes as a kid and knew exactly what a kill flag represented. Others my age do not.

When the original Gulf War was going on I was here in Fayette'Nam, home of Fort Bragg, home of the 18th Airborne Corps, so jingoism was of a similar level to the early days of the current Gulf War. A friend's sister had two magnetic American flags on the door of her car. I jokingly asked, "does that mean you shot down two American planes?" She was pissed, and even the explanation of what the kill flag represented and how the placement on her car mimicked it was not going to calm her down.

I gotta blame the Huffington Post for running this and making a non-story into a big deal. Fortunately the comments so far are explaining what the flags represent. I used to enjoy the HP, but this is the kind of thing you'd expect from Fox News; running a story that is inflammatory to masses that are unaware that there is no reason to be pissed.


evildm said...

I don't know man. Seems a bit wimpy an PC of Sports illustrated. I mean shit, we were at war. AND that was the Nazi flag not the flag of modern day Germany. I was watching a documentary on the 1st infantry division and some reporter asked the vet "do you hate Germans" the guy responded "I don't hate anybody, but that was war and my job was to kill the enemy."

I mean yeah it's a non-story. but if you want to get all correct-if they didn't fight that war and shoot down those Nazis planes we probably wouldn't be enjoying SI in the first place.

Darius Whiteplume said...

Sure, their motive was to be politically correct, but I think people just see a swastika and think you are promoting racism. We American's are not great history buffs, for the most part. Maybe if the plane was more recognizable, i.e. a wider shot that showed it was an American plane. Had it been in the Pacific theater, no one would bitch about the Rising Sun.

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