I saw a “yellow-ribbon” car magnet, of the general cliché variety, for sale in a supermarket the other day. (For international readers who may not be aware: It has been fashionable, following each U.S. invasion of Iraq, for Americans to sport made-in-China magnetic images of yellow ribbons reading “Support Our Troops!” affixed to the rear of their S.U.V.’s, or if not an S.U.V., then whatever large-ish car one can afford.)
Anyway, this particular magnet I saw had a new feature—it had a punched-out center area, in the middle of the loop of the “ribbon”, which read “Bring ‘Em Home Soon!” So, the purchaser could opt to remove the “Bring ‘Em Home” message from the magnet, leaving only the “Support Our Troops!” message— perhaps implying full-on support of the war, the President, guns, bombs, etc. Or, alternatively, the user could include the “Bring ‘Em Home” postscript, implying that, while supporting the troops, he or she does not support their deployment to Iraq, perhaps questions the President’s good intentions in starting the war, and in general would like not to see any more people killed. One magnet, multiple options! It’s what makes this country great—so many choices, such liberty of self-expression.