Ads 468x60px

Subscribe:

7/12/11

When Capitalism and Patriotism are combined with Laziness

Earlier in my blogging career, I did a post talking about patriotism, and what this country means to me.  In it, I mentioned the fact that all my neighbors had flags posted in their yards for President's Day.  This was also true during Memorial Day, the 4th of July, or any other holiday that could be deemed patriotic.

It wasn't until Independence Day when I found out why.

A group of us were sitting around on the 4th, doing a little in-home celebrating instead of the Melaleuca-sponsored "Worship Us" fireworks show.  I watched as this pickup truck drove down the street, scooping up each and every flag on this street.  An older gentleman would hop out of his truck, wearing overalls with no shirt, and a ratty old cowboy hat.  He'd take each flag, roll it up, and toss it into the back of his truck before driving down to the next one.

I asked one of my houseguests "What the heck is he doing?" and was told about the local 'Rent-a-Flag' service in town.  Apparently, for a price, you can pay someone to come to your house and plant a flag in your yard, making it look like you're patriotic.

I was stunned.

Yes, for only $5 you can show how
much you love your country...
I mean, I know Old Navy has been profiting on people's sense of USA Pride for years, but paying someone to post a flag in your yard?  That just seems absurd.

Yet, it's a perfect example of capitalism.  Someone saw a market for lazy people wanting to show their pride, and capitalized on it.  It takes this guy 15 seconds to unfurl a flag and put it in your yard.  Another 15 seconds that evening to take it down.  And HOW MUCH is he charging??  When you can get 5-10 people per block, and x amount of blocks, I could see the windfall profits.

What amuses me is this:  I was actually considering buying a flag, getting a bracket to mount it on the side of my house, and showing my patriotism like a good little citizen.  I would be a little different, since most people have the ground stakes around here and mine would be on the side of the house.  Now I'm not sure if I want to, because this fool will drive down the street, think my flag is one of his, and drive off with it.

Then again, I'd get it back on the next holiday, wouldn't I?

Now don't get me wrong, I believe in capitalism, and support entrepreneurship as much as the next guy.  Yet, marketing against someone to be as lazy as possible seems a little... I dunno... immoral.  It doesn't seem as bad as fast food chains cutting costs by frying everything in cheap, fatty oils, but at the same time it's promoting the notion of "You don't need to do it.  Here, let me do it for you."

Something like letting me build you a website because you don't understand?  Ok.  Taking a car to a mechanic because they're too complicated to fix yourself?  I get that.  Paying a guy to take out a flag and put it in your yard, and remove it before sunset?  My 4-year old nephew could easily do that.  Why am I going to pay someone else to do it??

And why didn't I think of it first??
Please Share it! :)

19 witty retorts:

Canadianbloggergirl said...

Even though I'm obviously not American, I'd like to say that why does it have to be a holiday in order to be patriotic? Why not have that flag up all year round? Who is it going to hurt?...just wondering.

CBG
canadianbloggergirl.blogspot.com

Pickleope said...

Considering the dude collecting the flags couldn't afford a shirt under his overalls, I don't know how lucrative the flag rental business is.

J.Day said...

I've never heard of anything like this. They'd rather pay a shirtless guy in overalls to place and pick up flags then to purchase their own flags for possibly the same price? L-A-Z-Y.

Melanie said...

So honestly, what does he charge, because around these parts you can get a flag and the bracket for your house for about $20.00. You gotta look out for #1, and I think in the long run, you are better off buying it yourself.

Byakuya said...

I live in the UK, and tbh genuine patriotism is basically dead in this country for all I know.

I can't say what that guy was doing is wrong. He was seizing advantage of a good money making opportunity.

The people that bought the flags from him are just slackers, but at least they mean well enough to put that small bit of effort in eh?

Haven said...

Frankly if you're too lazy to hold onto your own money than maybe you deserve to have it swindled from you, hahahhaa. idk.

The Simple Dude said...

This is all about laziness, not saving money. In the long run it is cheaper to do the bracket on the house thing. My parents have one of those and put their flag out on all the appropriate holidays.

But you have to love the fact that someone came up with this concept and is profiting from it... well, like 3 - 4 times a year anyway.

SD
www.TheSimpleDude.com

Zombie said...

I think i may need to buy a new flag. lol. mines all old and stuff. :P

Not the Hero said...

I don't understand the idea of putting up the flag in the first place. Like CBG I'm Canadian as well.

Flags are usually used to mark territory and I'm sure your neighbors know without you having to plant a flag in your yard that your property is still in fact in the United states.

I'm patriotic about my country, I'll wear a flag on my backpack when I'm out of the country, or I'll wear a Canada jersey to a world level hockey game, but I don't get the flag in the yard thing.

Random Girl said...

There truly is a market for everything. And good on this guy for finding a way to fill a "need" and provide a "service"... trying to optimistic about this you see...

D4 said...

I dunno. I mean people are lazy, I get this. And someone's making profit? They're aware of the service. The way I see it, it helps stimulate the economy. I wouldn't do it, I like saving my money for something nicer than a flag. But I don't really feel like he's being a disruptive source or anything.

Annabelle said...

Lame. So very lame.

squatlo said...

There's a lot of that going around. We have trash pickup here that people pay weekly bills for, yet the "convenience center" is about three miles away and you can toss your crap in their dumpster five days a week for free.
The best guilt-riddled scam for taking peoples' money has to be televangelists, though. Someone gets on the tube, rants and raves and pitches a fire and brimstone lecture, then hits up the choir for donations? A goldmine... got a sick parent or child? Got a bidness deal you're worried about? Got marriage trouble, a gay kid, herpes? Just send us a donation and a prayer request and we'll get on the horn with the Big Guy and fix you right up! Save wear and tear on your knees, just let us do the dirty work!
Jeez...

myjoyproject said...

"Why didn't I think of it first" indeed!!! Capitalizing on laziness is no new concept obviously (think fast food, drive thru banks and remote controlled anythings), but this guy is taking it to the next level!

Brilliant.

Loved this post :)

The Angry Lurker said...

It's the american way though?

Gucci Mama said...

I'm ripping off this guy's idea. I bet I could charge people in my neighborhood a hundred bucks a flag, plus handling fees.

Winning.

Thank, Q said...

I'm registering BeAPatriotOnTheCheap.com as we speak. This is insane. It goes to show how sorry we can be as American citizens. Paying someone to mow your lawn is one thing, but paying a dude to "decorate" your yard is beyond lame. I'm grabbing my god son and come Veterans Day, I will make a killing in Jackson!

Josie said...

They pay for that??? I thought that at least it was like some scout troops doing a good deed or something. That kind of ruins it. Ever since my parents built their house they've had a flag out front 365 days a year. They don't even put it at half staff on days like 9/11 as most people do because, as my dad says, 'I'm not half American just because someone killed a bunch of people. I think that's a damn good reason to fly it at full staff and show people they can't knock us.'

Mama Spaghetti said...

Wow...that's just kind of insane. How much does that kind of thing cost?

Post a Comment

Comments are always appreciated. Sometimes they end up being better than the initial post! Come join in on the fun... (and remember, you can post anonymously)

And if you like the post, feel free to share! Stumble, Digg, Tweet, go bananas!