Stars & Stripes 4 Evah

Because I love, love, love Banal Nationalism by Micheal Billig, I’m going to talk about it some more. I love it. (I’m trying to keep things professional here in case anyone from the American Historical Association conference next month ends up reading through my recent archives. Hello! I love Banal Nationalism and researching banal nationalism in visual culture.)

Anyhow, there are so many USAmerican maps everywhere all the time that I doubt that anyone can keep track of them, but here are some more items to throw into the fray regarding, what else, statehood and the US flag:

Library of Congress

“Waiting for their stars.” Udo Keppler, 23 July 1902 via the United States Library of Congress

“I bought a forty-eight-star American flag, from the 1940s. The flag would remind MDash that his adoptive nation is never finished building itself—that good citizens have a place somewhere in her fruited plain just as more stars can fit in the blue field above those red and white stripes.” – Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks (yeah, that Tom Hanks wrote a book of short stories!)

Mauldin - Stop whistling and move over - 13 March 1959

“All right, all right! Stop whistling and move over!” Bill Mauldin, 13 March 1959, via the United States Library of Congress.




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Cabotia & Fredonia


If you like maps, I have a guest post up at Borealia about Cabotia and Fredonia, alternate names suggested for Canada and the USA, respectively.

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Thanksgiving Special

We’ve seen plum pudding and pies, so today I bring you another mash-up of political cartoon delicacies:


28 November 1957, Jim Berryman.


1874 (Benjamin Disraeli)

1926 04 01 ask2 Begbie.jpg

1 April 1926 via the Begbie Society Contest.

1931 03 01 2relief355 Begbie.jpg

March 1931 via the Begbie Society Contest.

N.B. It is only Thanksgiving in one country today, as far as I know.

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Swipes File #50: O / Owe Canada


(Vance Rodewalt, 20 February 2018)

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The Donner Party & The Franklin Expedition…

… Two times when Indigenous people saw white people cannibalizing each other and noped right out of there.

Julie Schablitsky on the Donner Party:

Taking pity on the pioneers, the northern Washoe attempted to feed them, leaving rabbit meat and wild potatoes near the camps. Another account states that they tried to bring the Donner Party a deer carcass, but were shot at as they approached. Later, some wel mel ti observed the migrants eating human remains. Fearing for their lives, the area’s native inhabitants continued to watch the strangers but avoided further contact.

And, always in good taste, Robin Williams:

John Rae on the Franklin Expedition:

From the mutilated state of many of the corpses and the contents of the kettles, it is evident that our wretched countrymen had been driven to the last resource – cannibalism – as a means of prolonging existence…

“Don’t be a Charles Dickens about this” is probably my new favo(u)rite phrase.


For more about people eating people, check this out:


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William Seward & Sarah Palin: A Friendship to the End?

Sarah Palin, 2008:

They’re our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.

William Seward, 1860:

[S]tanding here, and looking far off into the North-west I see the Russian as he busily occupies himself in establishing seaports and towns and fortifications on the verge of the continent… and I can say, “Go on and build up your outposts all along the coast, up even to the Arctic Ocean; they will yet become the outposts of my own country – monuments of the civilization of the United States in the northwest.”

Sources: Saturday Night Live and the State Museum in Juneau, Alaska, respectively

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Good old Russia

Thanks for this gem, internet.

1873 - The two young giants - Ivan and Jonathan reaching for Asia by opposite routes.jpg



As a follow-up, here’s the view from the other side:


“Russian Arctica,” Alexandr Zudin, St. Petersburg, Russia, 23 August 2007



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Baby & Kid & Person Gifts – Part 7

Since quite a few people have asked me about baby / kid toys, I’m sharing some of the gifts that I like to give. This is Part 7 in a series.

Whelp, that’s it. After posting all of those themed gifts, I’m fresh out of ideas. So if anyone has any suggestions for a good en-masse sort of gift for four-year olds, please do send them my way!

Actually, I’m not totally out of ideas…

Book Gift Ideas

Hope these posts help you in your own gift-giving adventures, and saves you time (other than the meticulous assembly of multi-part art boxes and puff-paint application) when you’re trying to get gifts together for a lot of people in the same we-love-stickers-and-buckets-age-group.

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In the Middle

Devoted readers may recall that Chicago is at the center of the world / universe:

But visitors to St. John’s might know differently:

“The Newfoundland Centred World” (1977), as seen at Memorial University Queen Elizabeth II Library. (Hat tip to Dan Duda!)

There are plenty of Azimuthal equidistant projection maps centered on other cities, as well. (Some are digitized at the United States Library of Congress page.)

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