- - Sunday, February 25, 2018

The times, they are a terror. Robert Mueller needs suspects in his pursuit of collaborators with the Russians, so he’s recycling suspects he had already indicted once. Patriots in Seattle, terrified that Stonewall Jackson and Jeb Stuart, if not Marse Robert himself, have been raiding on Puget Sound, and settled on the flag of Norway as an object of contempt when the familiar Confederate battle flag was not available.

The Seattle Times got a tip with ample precision from Rebecca Morris, author of several “true-crime novels” that “suddenly there is a Confederate flag flying in front of a house in my Greenwood neighborhood at the northeast corner of 92d and Palatine, just a block west of 92d I would love to know what this means maybe it’s a story?”

The newspaper dispatched a reporter who, perhaps thinking he was soon to be a famous war correspondent, with visions of a book contract and even a movie dancing in his head, “drove to that corner. There was no wind, and on a flagpole there was what obviously was the U.S. flag at the top, and below, a red flag with blue stripes. Simply hanging down, not spread out, you could make some assumptions that it was a star-filled ‘Southern cross’ of the Confederacy.”

Yes, one could do that, and one would be wrong. The man in the corner house who raised the suspicious cross, one Donald Norman Strangeland, explained that he’s not a Confederate at all, but “a proud Norwegian-American,” and was celebrating the 13 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze medals won by his ancestral home at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

The Norwegian flag, a handsome banner which looks nothing at all like the Confederate banner, doesn’t resemble “the star-filled Southern cross of the Confederacy,” either, since there is no such thing. The Southern cross is a constellation easily visible in the Southern sky, part of the Milky Way, and it’s on the Australian flag, not the Confederate flag, whose St. Andrew’s Cross was a banner imported from ancient Scotland. Otherwise, the Seattle Times account was right on the money.

The tipster said on second look it did resemble what it actually was, the Norwegian flag. “Maybe that’s the story,” says Rebecca Morris. “We’re all so stressed by all things political that we see things that aren’t there.” No doubt. We knew there was a Donald Trump connection here somewhere.

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