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The Olympic Games Collection – Ralph Lauren

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In the midst of all the recent patriotism of this past Independence Day weekend, I realized how much outwardly shows of patriotism have become very rare and unpopular. When people do display strong patriotism, its usually framed in the media as a fanatical product of the Sunbelt States. Examples that come to mind are Talladega Nights or the audience that Borat sings his national anthem to. Strong patriots are apparently reduced to deer-hunting, beer-guzzling, right-wing nutjob rednecks, according to Mr. TV.

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I believe most Americans are proud to be Americans despite constant coverage of why America is sucking right now (i.e. the economy, the War on Iraq, an embarrassing president.) The National Anthem is only reserved for major sporting events and most people I know only sing it out of obligation, not really out of a genuine respect for America The Great. I’m not saying that Americans don’t respect America. But the feeling of America as the best country in the world is either nonexistent or its really starting to fade.

Somewhere in the fold, wearing anything that resembles the flag has become completely out of fashion. The red, white, and blue colorways, for some reason, looks like it should stay on the flag and off someone’s person. I don’t know when wearing the American colors became unfashionable. I want to say the 90s. I’m not so sure but I know that the colors themselves look bland, with or without the stars and stripes. The fact that this Ralph Lauren collection is for the Olympic Games feels like it should be reserved for Olympic athletes only. The collection itself is impressive but it feels dated before the Olympics have even arrived. It’s cool right now, but a month after the Olympics, it will almost be as tacky as seeing someone wearing an old-ass concert tour T-shirt with all the tour dates on the back or a Dream Team Basketball Jersey. The only props you’ll get is for the novelty value.

Strangely enough, there is something really exotic about the Olympics shirts for the other countries. I’m thinking about the time Urban Outfitters made track jackets repping countries that no one in America lived in.

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I don’t know when patriotic fashion will be in again. But I hope when it does, it will be because it is reflective of an America our citizens are truly proud of.

[All images take from Ralph Lauren]

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