Google's July 4 doodle: Gosh, no American flag
In commemoration of Independence Day, Google presents a doodle that shows America divided by a freeway, but hugged by a rainbow. There is also no American flag, which has caused some to be upset.
Symbolism is very important when you celebrate your independence.
Each gesture, each flag, each word, each song, each barbecued chicken wing expresses a feeling, a meaning.
So it must have taken some time for those fine doodlers to decide just what they would put into their July 4 doodle.
In the end, they have presented an uplifting and artistic doodle to celebrate America's unique form of independence. Already, though, viewers have been inclined to infer interpretations both from what is included in the doodle and from what is omitted.
There is no American flag, for example, which has already caused some to fulminate with disappointment. Others, spoiled by , will be depressed that this is a doodle that sits there proudly and doesn't allow you to play with it.
The doodle has even spurred some to declare that the Independence Day tradition is full of myths--such as the one about the Declaration being signed on July 4.
It is tempting, though, to read some more heightened comment buried within this particular art. Here we have America split, east from west, by a very large freeway. What are the artists trying to say? That the country is impossibly divided? That the dullards on the East Coast just don't get the fun-loving creators of tomorrow on the West?
Still, the doodle does include many icons of Americana. There is the horse wearing a cowboy hat--who's most firmly in the western part of the country. There are fireworks in the east, a white picket fence in the mid-east and a baseball flying somewhere over Chicago: another home run smacked out of Wrigley Field by a visiting team, perhaps.
Some, though, might find the most telling piece of symbolism lives in the rainbow that stretches to hug the whole of the country. It's as if Google is saying to all Americans: "Can't we all just get along?"
We will, once we're all on Google+.