In So Many Words

Books of Educational and Informational Comics from Larry Paros


Book X: One Nation... (Politics)

Primary Colors

Centuries ago, vessels returned triumphantly to their homeport with their colors (flags) flying proudly from their masthead. So too, when our ship of state embarks on new foreign adventures, it first wraps itself in Old Glory, the red, white, and blue.

Red is what we paint the town with (19thC.). At the far end of the spectrum, it's the color most closely associated with the extremes of passion, violence, and promiscuity; the hue which best celebrates the initial excitement of any new undertaking.

Justification comes in white. White is the color of the lies told — minor falsehoods motivated by higher concerns. The color has long been symbolic of purity and harmlessness. But as one 18th century philosopher warned, "White lies invariably introduce others of a darker complexion."

Blue is true-blue, "loyal" and "unwavering," like all the Administration's people parroting the party line — as in the Old Testament, where God commanded Moses to have the Israelites put a blue ribbon on the fringes of the borders of their garments as a reminder to keep his commandments.

Eventually the ship of state returns with flying colors intact from its adventures, but alas, the flag is often in tatters from all that waving.