(2/2) National Flags

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Oct 1, 2017 03:26
Among the few countries I’ve been to, the US seems to be the only one that likes to hang the national flag. That’s not to say that every part of the US does so. On the US west coast (Washington, Oregon and California), I didn’t see many ordinary people's houses displaying the Stars and Stripes. But in the midwestern US (Nebraska), the number seemed to be much greater. One night, while driving past a community, I was surprised to see that every family had displayed the national flag. I even saw a Stars and Stripes spread out on a lawn in front of a house. The flag was decorated in a fancy way, with a wreath atop and some lights around it. Conspicuous in the dark, the scene made me think how this family held the flag dear. I guessed that perhaps one of the family members might have served in the US Army or something.

I’ve never been to the eastern US. A friend of mine (who attended the University of Pennsylvania) told me that she had once stumbled upon a community where national flags were displayed on every house. What surprised her more was that everyone stared at her and her African American friend with a strange look. This combination -- a young Asian lady and an elderly black man -- seemed very strange to them (whites). She then fled the place as quickly as possible. She said that was the first time she’d experienced racism. Hearing that, I couldn’t help but laugh. These people didn’t know the story behind my friend's friend. I know this African American. He once coached a basketball team in China. I once ate out with him, a very kind man indeed.

[Revised]
在我去过的几个国家里,美国似乎是唯一一个喜欢挂国旗的。也不是说美国所有地区都是这样。在美国西海岸时(华盛顿州、俄勒冈和加州),看到挂星条旗的居民并不多。但是在美国中部,挂国旗的人数明显要多一些。有一天晚上,我开车经过一个小区的时候,很惊讶地看到家家户户挂国旗。尤其是看到一户人家草坪上铺着一面星条旗,上面有花环,还有灯饰,照得很亮,在黑暗中非常显眼。这让我不禁感叹这户美国人家对国旗的爱戴。也许这家人有人参军吧。

我从来没有去过美国东部,一个朋友曾经在宾大上过学,她告诉我说,她曾经误入了一个小区,家家户户挂国旗。让她更惊讶的是,所有人都用奇怪的眼神看着她和她的美国黑人朋友。毕竟,一个年轻的亚裔和一个年老的美国黑人在一起,在他们眼里看来,是非常奇怪的组合。于是,她赶紧逃离了那个地方,说这是她第一次感受到了种族主义。听着这里,我笑了起来。这些居民并不知道背后的故事。我认识那位非洲裔美国朋友。他曾经在中国当篮球教练,我还和他吃过饭,人很好。