Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Flags For Everyone

On one of our first days here, we went to the grocery store. It was the kind of grocery trip someone would make if a new grocery chain came to their town for the first time. Like a Trader Joe's for instance. We wandered around, didn't recognize much of anything and threw a bunch of intriguing-looking food items in the cart. We also managed to find some staples like olive oil, mustard, basalmic vinegar, salad dressing, etc. In the end, we spent way too much and came home with some really random things including the worst dried bannana bars, a rice pudding that I thought was greek yogurt, and extremely expensive (more than $10) organic, completely delicious ice cream.

In addition to the bounty we returned home with, we left the grocery store with a mystery. Why on earth was there a whole section of paper goods (napkins, plates, toothpicks with flags attached, cups, banners, etc.) featuring the Danish flag? Was a holiday akin to the 4th of July coming up?

At another store a few days later we noticed birthday cards for every age with Danish flags on them. Hmm.

Shortly after that I was talking to one of my new friends and I learned that all Danes decorate their homes with Danish flags on their birthdays. Fascinating. This is not something that Americans would do. We'd go with a much more sensible Pokemon or Spongebob Squarepants. My grandma was born on the 4th of July and she embraces red white and blue for her birthday, but nobody else I know does the same. That's some serious patriotism.

Now that we know about the birthday tradition we are noticing more flags. When stores have sales, they tend to become extra patriotic.

Big sale at a bike shop

Additionally, many many products have the Danish flag on them or at least brag of being Danske (from Denmark). Our jar of pickles has the Danish flag on the lid. The flour and sugar I bought last week are from here and the packaging makes sure I am aware of that fact.

The patriotism is a bit inspired and a bit alarming. I will wait to make a final judgment until I have been here longer. For now, only observations.

We'll see if we decorate with Danish flags for Riley's birthday this June.


  1. Interesting.....can't quite get into Danish flags for my grandsons first birthday but then again it might be a novel idea!!! Memorable at least. Love the informational blogs though and living vicariously! xo

  2. I think it was the bike store's birthday. Yay!

  3. They're talking about having a flag day. And if you say.... "But... Every day is flag day..." they just blink extra long and don't get it.

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