The real symbol of the United States is not the stars and stripes, nor the bald eagle, nor the Statue of Liberty, nor even the mighty McDonald’s logo. The real symbol of the United States is the Pentagon.
The Pentagon should feature centrally on the US flag. It should be on the coins and on all the bills, and it should appear next to the name of every American in the Olympics. When anyone sees a five-sided polygon, they should immediately think “United States of America”.
There is nothing more representative of the most significant things about the United States than the Pentagon. Sure the US has lovely national parks, an abundance of fast food chains and 500 million-dollar superhero movies, but nothing has anywhere near the effect on the world as the US government’s ability to project force around the planet with military violence and the threat thereof.
That is the main thing that makes the US unique among nations, after all. Americans are taught from childhood to take special pride in their nation’s “freedom” and “democracy” (of which they have neither), when what actually makes their country stand out against the crowd is its role as the hub of a globe-spanning empire that is held together by nonstop military aggression. The five-sided building which houses the US Department of Defense — formerly called the Department of War until someone noticed that was a bit too truthful — is the perfect symbol for that empire. It conveys what the United States is really putting out into the world more accurately than any other.
It’s easy to forget that you live in the hub of the most powerful empire in history when you actually live there, in the same way it’s so calm in the eye of a hurricane that you’d hardly know your world is being ripped apart around you. But because the US-centralized empire influences global dynamics so pervasively, and because every major international conflict in the world involves it to some degree, that’s what affects the most people in the world to the furthest extent right now. How much money they have. Whether they get to feed their kids today. Whether they’ll be torn to shreds by military explosives tomorrow. Whether they’ll have to watch everyone die in a nuclear holocaust next year.
So as far as humanity is concerned the most distinctive thing about the United States is its empire, and the most accurate symbol for that empire is the Pentagon. Artists, activists and memesters should make more use of this powerful symbol, because it’s right there, easy to draw and everything.
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