Bad Reichenhall, Bavaria
That Pete Seeger has died, I feel as a great loss. He certainly was a not only a fabulous singer/songwriter, but also personified that America of hope and of freedom. In that sense, see this heart with stars and strips as the well deserved symbol of affection that many Germans feel for the idea of the U.S.A. (it remains to be discussed however how reflected this symbol is worn by 99% of the owners of such a sweater).
This reverence for the U.S.A. however is threatened: As president Obama has made clear, non U.S. citizens are distinctly second-class when it comes to them being subjects of NSA data trawls or even targeted actions. Foreign laws, even those of friends and allies, were not, are not, and won’t be respected. Citizen rights are clearly subordinate to the acquisitiveness that came along with technical, maybe legal, but certainly not legitimate technical possibilities.
I am waiting for the time when U.S. leaders and citizens would again at least try to live along the spirit of ‘this land is your land’.