Over at Buzzfeed, Peggy posted this photo of a piece of kitsch she found on sale in Japan:

Thanks to Dmitiry for the link!  To clarify…

Uncle Sam, icon of American freedom:

Colonel Sanders, mascot for the fast food restaurant Kentucky Fried Chicken (the suit is the giveaway):

So what does this mean?  Well, perhaps nothing.  But it suggests that America is associated with capitalism and greasy food at least as much as the idea of freedom.  It also means that, at least in this instance, the U.S. has lost control of its brand.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
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