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Happy Independence Day

Each year on this date I try to find an image that captures America in a nutshell (here are the ones from 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008). This year it was easy: The most patriotic act we can engage in right now — the best way to help secure the literal health of our nation — is to mask up, as NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace is doing in the photo above. That’s because we’re all in this together. Or as someone once said, e pluribus unum.

Obviously, Independence Day feels different this year, but please accept my best wishes for a happy holiday all the same. I’ll be busy today, but the comments are open, so feel free to chat among yourselves. If you have a few minutes, I heartily recommend reading the Declaration of Independence, whose ratification is what we’re celebrating today. (Here’s a typeset version, in case you can’t decipher the handwriting.)

And remember, if you’re spending the day in the company of a Britisher — which I guess is less likely this year — kindly pass along my annual Independence Day rallying cry: In your face, Redcoats!Paul

18 comments to Happy Independence Day

  • Scott T. | July 4, 2020 at 8:34 am |

    Looks like your photo caption is left over from last year?

    • Paul Lukas | July 4, 2020 at 8:35 am |

      Oops! Fixed.

  • Jr2t | July 4, 2020 at 9:49 am |

    Thanks for posting all of your photos from the past several years. They tell a narrative about our collective experience with the recent history of our country. From stacking cases of beer like the flag 10-odd years ago, to a photo mocking the president’s “love” for his nation, and today’s photo that strikes a tone of sincere gravity regarding the current moment of racial injustice and the covid 19.

    It’s humbling how much we have had to grow up over the course of this time. Personally, a half decade ago I took much more for granted that I should have. Hopefully we can ride this wave to true positive changes in our country (including changing the names and iconography of racially insensitive sports teams).

    Happy 4th

    • Paul Lukas | July 4, 2020 at 9:53 am |

      Back atcha, Jason — have a great holiday weekend!

  • PaulS | July 4, 2020 at 11:29 am |

    That begs the question, seeing where this country is right now, would the Brits even take it back if we paid them?

    • StLMarty | July 4, 2020 at 5:11 pm |

      Some people are okay with warts, and some people remove them. That’s what’s great about this country.

    • StLMarty | July 4, 2020 at 5:13 pm |

      But for the record… I do remove them.

  • Drew B. | July 4, 2020 at 12:10 pm |

    Have a happy and safe Fourth of July to you all. I will spend the day reflecting on how quickly “this can all go away,” as my colleagues in Hong Kong just experienced a little over 72 hours ago. They don’t get to shout “In your face, Redcoats!” as they were the only former British colony not given the opportunity for self-determination or independence.

    • Peter | July 4, 2020 at 2:49 pm |

      *Redcoats is racist, but you could still refer to them as “Scarlet Tunics”

  • Eric | July 4, 2020 at 12:27 pm |

    I love today’s closing sentiment! It put a huge, much-needed smile on my face.

  • Jason | July 4, 2020 at 1:03 pm |

    That 2008 image has been burned into my brain as part of Fourth of July. Captures the nostalgia of it so well. 2013 is a close second. Has that Jason Lee feel if you follow his photo series on Instagram. As mentioned above, we often have taken this day for granted and this year is a bit more sobering.
    Always great content. Thanks!

    • Paul Lukas | July 4, 2020 at 1:40 pm |

      Thanks, Jason.

      It’s interesting to look back at how I initially went for images of kitsch. That seems almost like a luxury now.

  • joey | July 4, 2020 at 1:08 pm |

    A few (tongue-in-cheek) suggestions for Washington’s new name:

    – Red Delicious
    – Red Onions
    – Red Lobsters
    – Red Scares

    My vote would be Red Onions. I can’t think of any other major team named after a food item, and that’s easier to say than Red Delicious. Plus an apple would work better for a team from the state of Washington.

    • Paul Lukas | July 4, 2020 at 1:40 pm |

      Red Menace!

      (I love Red Delicious, though — that’s a good one!)

    • RS Rogers | July 4, 2020 at 3:32 pm |

      Red Smokes or Red Brats in honor of the distinctly red “half smoke,” which is the city’s half-pork, half-beef bratwurst spiced with red pepper.

      As a former DC-area resident, jut typing that description is making me hungry for a half-smoke with chili and mustard. I would go back to watching football just to root for a team named after the half-smoke.

  • Tom | July 4, 2020 at 2:36 pm |

    Yesterday, someone sent to me a suggestion of leaving the name as Redskins and changing the iconography to a potato. They had a redskin potato on a plate with a sprig of dangling parsley replacing the feather on the side. Of course, leaving the Redskin name in place would be unacceptable, but I would enjoy seeing the headlines after big losses: Redskins buried again. Team leaves field half-baked. Maulers of the Midway mash Redskins. Redskins endure their own sour creaming. Redskins hashed by Browns.

  • Tim | July 4, 2020 at 3:02 pm |

    There’s only one choice for the rebrand of the Skins…

    Washington Sentinels a la the Mighty Ducks.

  • Rob Carlson | July 4, 2020 at 4:31 pm |

    While we’re talking about potential names for the ‘Skins, I want to throw out that a key element to consider is the fight song. If they keep the song and change the lyrics, it’ll remain a point of contention simply because some fans will undoubtedly sing the current words during post-rebrand game for a while (Washington does still draw at least a hundred home fans a game). Still, this wouldn’t be the first time the lyrics were changed to be more sensitive.

    There’s one word that’s obviously out, “Redskins,” but beyond that there’s only one other line with any real racial connotation, which contains “Braves” and “Warpath.” This line I think will be the hardest to change while still having the song scan. Depends on whether they eschew the Native American branding entirely or go with a compromise name, I guess.

    (This is a joke, but if this were a few years ago they could change the line to “Way holds for Forbath!” and it would scan nearly identically.)