I’m an American, born and raised, but I come from an English-Scottish family. We visited the UK many times when I was younger and I have always had a deep fondness for England and Scotland (I have similar feelings for the Irish and Welsh areas, though I never visited them). Although I’ve never held British citizenship, I consider England to be “my country” as much as America is simply by grace of my strong familial ties to the place. I don’t think there’s anything particularly wrong with that.
A few nights ago I met a new co-worker, an English guy. I was outside smoking a cigarette when he came out to meet me.
“You’re [kidneyfailure], right?” he asked.
I had just taken a drag so I nodded instead of saying yes.
“Where you from in the UK, then?” he asked.
I blew out my smoke and told him, in my American accent, that I was from the US, not England. I assumed he thought I was British because of the sweater I was wearing, which had the UK national emblem and a Union Jack embroidered on the left breast.
“Then you shouldn’t be wearing that,” he said. “Wear your own country’s flag, not ours.”
Uh, excuse me? WTF is wrong with me wearing it?
“It’s not yours. Wear something else,” he said, and then went back inside.
Yeah, thanks for the advice, dick! Through talking with some of our other co-workers I discovered that that guy is seen as a kind of arrogant jerk, so I didn’t think much of it.
So, I’d like some input on a few questions:
Is there anything you find particularly wrong/offensive/off-putting about non-Brits wearing British symbols if they actually do have a genuine fondness for the UK?
In your opinion, were that guy’s comments justified or was he just being a jackass?
Could this possibly be a manifestation of that “British anti-Americanism” we often read about (http://tinyurl.com/yjvoxdx) or was the guy just a moron? I’m leaning towards the latter…