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January 27, 2014 12:40 PM Behold the Hideous Ralph Lauren US Olympic Team Uniforms

By Michael O'Hare

There’s plenty to not like about how the Olympics have evolved: nationalism, commercialization, appropriation by vile host regimes…and now we’re going to be biting our fingernails right through February waiting for a terrorist outrage, or a Russian security outrage, or both. They have become a hot mess, but fortunately that apostle of cool, tasteful elegance in dress, Ralph Lauren, designed the US team uniforms: understated, gracious, and confident, that’s us.

Ooooops. (ht: Boston Globe) They do have everything, even an Austrian flag on the right shoulder (a what?). There is a little problem with using the US flag as a shmata to be torn up and quilted into a dog’s breakfast; the flag code says:

The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, firefighters, police officers, and members of patriotic organizations.

But it’s not actually a law, so what the hell. What did I say? Oh yeah, hot mess, your worst Christmas sweater nightmare.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

Michael O'Hare is a Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

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