Travelling through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama, we notice something missing that was quite prevalent just a year ago: Trump Flags. At one time, they seemed to be everywhere, but today they have all but disappeared. What gives?
Well, I think the main thing is, they were poorly made flags from China that were bought for cheap and sold to the Trump faithful for a lot. The Trump campaign claims all their flags were "Made in America" but none of their campaign finance disclosures can point to a single American supplier. They did note that anyone selling unauthorized Trump merchandise with the "Trump 2020" logo would be guilty of Trademark or Copyright infringement. Meanwhile, in China, a factory is filmed with Trump flags being made. Guess they got a license, eh?
So the Trump flags wore out - the few we see left are tattered and faded. I guess the campaign figured there was no point in making a long-lasting flag, when campaigns are measured in months. Then again, perpetual campaigning seems to be the new norm these days. So it would have helped Trump to make a longer-lasting flag. Funny thing is, they still sell Trump merch - you just don't see any of it.
Maybe that is the second part of it - that many people are embarrassed at this point. My Catholic Republican friends voted for Trump and put up a yard sign because their priest told them to do so. They were single issue voters and they knew Trump was not Godly, but that his minions would suggest anti-abortion Supreme Court picks. But the day after January 6th, their yard sign came down - everyone has their limits.
I do see some other flags, though I saw one that said "Jesus is my Savior, Trump is my President!" which was really offensive - to Jesus. I mean conflating "Grab 'em by the Pussy!" with "Turn the other cheek" makes no sense, unless Jesus was talking about an ass cheek, I guess.
Is it still a thing to fly flags from pickup trucks? Must be awfully noisy at 70 mph on the Interstate. Maybe that is why the Trump flags are tattered. I have seen a few this summer flying in tandem with the US flag on the back of a pickup. The American flag is in good shape. The thin-ass Trump flag (which you could see through when it was new) is tattered. So maybe it is just cheap-ass flags bought for a buck and sold for $50 by our grifter-in-chief.
And we see these black American flags, as well - for example flying from the back of a pickup truck (along with a regular American flag). Not the thin blue line (or red line) flags, but all-black stars and stripes. Supposedly this means "Give no quarter!" or "Never surrender!" but I am not so sure. It is a coded signal - a dog-whistle - I guess, that the Trump faithful haven't given up, they've gone underground, no doubt to escape prosecution for their roles in the insurrection.
But there are other coded signals as well. Several times this summer, I saw pristine "Reagan/Bush!" campaign flags flying from porches and houseboats in the midwest. They made better flags back then, obviously - quality stitching and thicker material. Reagan was made of sterner stuff. But the message these flags send is an interesting one. My guess is they are saying, "I am a traditional Republican, and what are you going to do about it? Criticize Reagan? He's already been beatified!"
So it is a neat way of telling Trump supporters to fuck-off and that they don't own the GOP anymore, if they ever did. Or maybe it is wishful thinking, anyway. We'll see.
But it is odd there are no more Trump flags and Trump trains, and you don't hear much about Trump rallies. The news doesn't breathlessly report Trump's tweets because there aren't any and as an ex-President, it is understood that you become irrelevant overnight. No one cares what Jimmy Carter says, or George Bush, or Clinton or Obama or any ex-President.
Maybe Trump himself is fading like his cheap-ass flags. Tattered and torn, and so thin you can see through him. Maybe. People thought Hitler was through after the Beer-Hall Putsch, too!