In the Unites States, American flag doormats are a representation of freedom and pride in the country. In Russia, the popularity of American flag doormats has an opposite meaning. The city of Moscow has joined the legions of the Middle East and North Korea by placing American flag doormats in public places so visitors can openly wipe their feet on Old Glory in a form of disrespect toward the United States. The new Russian trend has been inspired by strained economic sanctions between the United States and Russia, not from Russia’s support of North Korea over the movie The Inteview.
The new Russian trend began at a shopping center in Moscow. Electronics on Presne is located just a few miles from the center of the Russian capital. Management and staff of the mall decided to place American flag doormats at the entrances so dismayed Russians can wipe their dirty boots on a piece of Americana while their Russian properties remain clean of debris. Photos of the entrances were posted on VKontakte, the largest Russian social networking site.
The message the mall is trying to send to America is that the “US can’t do whatever it wants,” according to Vocativ.
Ironically, the mall that has decided to protest the United States’ economic sanctions sells mass amounts of American goods, such as the iPhone. Many Russian bloggers have berated the act of disrespect, and feel that it will only make issues worse in the long run. A Russian journalist, Elder Muzhdababaev, posted a blog with the headline “The Idiots From Presnya,” in which he apologized to the United States and its residents while berating his own people.
“It’s idiotic to do this in a shopping center where 90% of the products are either produced in the U.S. or based on U.S. technology. Throw away your computers and phones, idiots. Close your electronic shops and go sell bast shoes, although even sandals might be too complicated for you.”
He continued, “All you do is shame our people with your impenetrable stupidity. On behalf of myself and those who are ashamed of these idiots, I apologize to the government and people of the United States.”
The same doormats that are placed throughout the mall can also be purchased for $20, which is quite expensive for the Russian economy, and are marketed with the sales pitch, “Each flag has its place.”
Vladimir Putin’s response, according to Press TV, seems to support the flag stomping at the mall.
“[N]o country could ‘intimidate’ or ‘isolate’ Russia.”
What are your thoughts in the issue, and what message would you like to send back to Russia?
[Photo Courtesy: The Daily Mail]