Tie A Yellow Ribbon ‘Round Your SUV

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 1:17 pm

We’ve all seen them. Nestled in the corner of a rear windshield. Riding proudly on a back bumper. Displayed in pairs and triplets and quartets arcoss the lift gate. The ubiquitous Yellow Ribbon. Now also available in red-white-‘n-blue (“God Bless America”), black (“POW/MIA”) and camo (“I Like Camo”).

Of course, I have nothing against the basic concept behind these things—only a true zealot would take a stand against the security and safe return of our armed forces—but that concept seems to have evolved over time into something with which I’m not quite as comfortable.

Conservative radio personality Michael Medved said it outright on his program: if you do not support the mission objectives of the military, you do not support the troops.

I find this ludicrous. When I was seven, a older neighborhood kid rode me on the handlebars of his bike a mile or two to the local variety store. There he told me that he would abandon me if I didn’t help him shoplift a toy he coveted. Unsure of my whereabouts and thoroughly cowed, I agreed to help him. After he took me home, I told my parents, who promptly got him busted. There is no doubt that my parents supported me, and there is also no doubt whatsoever that they did not support my actions. Supporting someone doesn’t mean telling them that everything they do is good and just and right when you don’t believe it; that’s sycophancy. “Support” includes the principle of helping someone—without rancor or self-righteous indignation—to correct their mistakes and become more or better than they are.

I wouldn’t dream of lambasting our soldiers, sailors and airmen for being involved in the Iraq War. It is their job to follow legal orders passed on to them through the chain of command. I don’t want them to take any action that might threaten their safety, nor fail to take any reasonable action that might help to insure it. But that doesn’t mean that I approve of the decision made by their commander-in-chief to send them into harm’s way, underequipped and ill-prepared, on what seems to me to be poorly defined and ultimately futile mission.

So I am left with a blank spot in my internal symbolic library that matches the one on the back of my car, where things like yellow ribbons, American flags and patriotic slogans might otherwise go. I love my country, I support my troops….and yet….and yet….

I wanted desperately to fill this symbolic void somehow. A stronger-willed person might have weathered the assumptions of his fellow citizens, accurate or otherwise, without a second thought. A more serene person might have avoided the question entirely by refusing to take any public stance, reasoning that his feelings on this or any other subject were no one’s business but his own.

I, on the other hand, am weak-willed and easily agitated.

Fortunately, I am also a graphic designer.

I put together a design that I felt accurately expressed my feelings on the subject of war in general and this war in particular. The design is shown below (the copyright and the “uncle-andrew.net” do not appear in the printed version). I ran a test batch of nine-by-ten decals that look really nice. My next plan is to reduce the dimensions slightly and re-run them as static-adhesive, vinyl window stickers.

Peace Ribbon

If anyone would like one, please let me know.

5 Responses to “Tie A Yellow Ribbon ‘Round Your SUV”

  1. Tricia SB Says:

    This is a great idea, Andrew! I would love to have one.

  2. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Glad you like it! I’ll put you down for one. 🙂

  3. Dylan Says:

    I like it…me too, me too.

    On a related note…I flipped through a blurb on some local news station reporting the fact that those magnetic stick on yellow and RWB stickers can damage your car’s paint job (moisture trapped under the sticker or something).
    Those SUV’ers might be forced to choose between SUV and country. Hmmm, a dilemma.

  4. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Actually, a patriotic symbol that destroys your vehicle is even more patriotic. It forces you to buy a new vehicle sooner, thus stimulating the economy.

  5. Margaret Says:

    Ah yes, but whose economy? Since even “American” cars are mostly produced (at least in their component parts) in Japan, Mexico, and Canada, whose economy gets stimulated by purchasing a new car?
    You know me, I just love to rabble rouse.

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