We're in a time of incredible political polarization. The left and right wings have never been further apart in our lifetime, and having a president who revels in attacking anyone and everyone around him isn't helping matters. Unfortunately, there is one thing that we can all agree on - we're all a little afraid about the future of our country.
But there is one figure that can bring salvation. One bright, shining savior coming up over the hill, set to deliver us from our partisan hell.
And that figure is... clothing brand, Old Navy.
That's right, the largest provider of t-shirts that you will one day cut the sleeves off to go running in is jumping into politics for the first time in its twenty-five year history. They're using their annual flag t-shirts as a vessel to deliver a message of inclusivity. But the question that remains is this: will this message change one single goddamn thing?
Our clothing says something about us.Your clothes are, oftentimes, the first piece of information that someone takes in when they see you. To a certain extent, whatever you have on the outside of your body speaks directly to who you are as a person.
Say you throw on an old Billabong shirt...I don't care if you're a professor of law at Harvard, when you're wearing a Billabong shirt, people are going to think that you want nothing more than to be at the beach, brah.
That cardigan sweater is speaking to who you are as a person.Everyone who sees you wearing a cardigan is going to assume that you're fancy, even if all you're doing in that cardigan sweater is asking them to front you a few bucks so you can afford Taco Bell.
And fine, ironed slacks will for sure inspire some opinions.
But say you hate that kind of attention...Some people don't like to pull attentions! They want to just slip along, unnoticed, with no one forming an opinion about them at all. But they still have to wear clothes outside — a little fact that I learned the hard way after a particularly nutso party in college.
That's what Old Navy is for!
via: ShutterstockEveryone who's too shy to want attention shops at Old Navy! That's why, whenever you shop there, you're always bumping into people — they're hard to notice.
Old Navy clothes are nothing. Generic.
via: ShutterstockThey have many different shirts and pants and the like, but the fact that they exist and cover our extremities is literally the only thing I can tell you about them.
Many stealth operatives wear Old Navy in the field.If you're sneaking onto an enemy base and your discovery would not only compromise your position, but the position of the top-secret blacklist group that sent you there, you're damn right you're going to wear some Old Navy button-ups to help you to avoid detection.
Every year, Old Navy puts out flag t-shirts.
My nieces, nephews, and kids have worn @OldNavy flag shirts every 4th of July since 1999. We’ve grown! Would have… https://t.co/b7GZziDljn— Jen (@Jen)1561233437.0
And they are Old Navy's closest thing to a memorable product.
If your mom didnt make you wear an old navy shirt w/ an American flag on it when you were little..she didnt love you http://t.co/zkRN9baNUw— Megan Wallace ➳ (@Megan Wallace ➳)1435692538.0
With the ol' stars and stripes front and center...The key piece to any flag tee is the flag itself, and Old Navy's flags have gotten bigger and bigger over the years. You want people to see how much you love America from about a half-mile away.
And the shirts always include some generic text about when the company was founded...
#25yearchallenge: the official shirt of summer/family/the 4th #tbt #belonginglookslike 🇺🇸 Shop flag tees:… https://t.co/Uym79gEUI8— Old Navy Official (@Old Navy Official)1560957953.0
These are the kind of shirts that dads wear to county fairs.
You can imagine our surprise, then, when Old Navy announced that they were using those flag shirts to make a statement.In a press release, Old Navy announced that this year's flag shirt would have one important difference — they were using it to make a comment on something...
And it's not just any comment. It's a political comment.Yyyyyikes, Old Navy is jumping into politics? Don't they know how brutal politics has gotten? I used to love watching presidential debates with my friends, eating snacks, and riffing on all the crazy ass-candidates. But I watched these most recent debates under a blanket, my teeth chattering.
Old Navy's flag t-shirts will be purple this year.That's right, this year's flag shirts are purple, rather than their traditional... hmm... what color were the old shirts? Blue? I can't remember, they were so dull and unmemorable.
See, purple is the color that you get when you mix red, white, and blue together.
Purple is what you get when you bring red, white & blue together. I’m celebrating a purple 4th of July with… https://t.co/HeallfYpSQ— Paula Pell (@Paula Pell)1561478408.0
Old Navy wants us to remember one thing:Even though both sides of the political spectrum are at each other's throats right now, we're all in this together!
We shouldn't be focusing on red versus blue...Both liberals and conservatives would, ideally, put aside their differences and find common ground if they could. But, of course, both groups think that the other one is actively trying to kill them, so it's not super easy to find common ground....
But, really, we're one big purple community.Whatever side you're on, you too are mixed in with this purple. Although that does make me feel like both the red and the blue sides have to be ground up to be mixed together...
It is, without question, the most milquetoast statement that they could make.Okay. Yes. We should all come together. That's saying something so obvious that Old Navy is basically saying nothing at all. It's like entering a room and saying, "I just entered the room." Like, we know. There's no reason to say it out loud.
But, hey, congrats to Old Navy for getting themselves out there!Old Navy's clothes have never said anything, so even though this statement is so toothless as to not merit being said at all, we do want to praise them for behaving in a way that we want everyone to behave.
In addition to their shirt message, Old Navy is also partnering with Open To All.
@OldNavy is joining forces with Open to All. Old Navy stores across the U.S.—and soon in Mexico & Canada—proudly di… https://t.co/HMQnY5m7eC— OpenToAllOfUs (@OpenToAllOfUs)1561667265.0
Old Navy is donating 25,000 dollars to the cause.Which... doesn't seem like a lot? I don't know, Old Navy's a giant company, right? Can't they even hit the million dollar mark? But, again, companies giving money to important causes is positive, and I want to praise the behavior that we want more of rather than scolding it for not being enough (just realizing that I think about Old Navy in the same way that I think about a new puppy...).
There are also words on the back of the shirt.
Old Navy's Classic Flag Tees Are Purple This Year—Here's Why https://t.co/WFR2eOqwgk https://t.co/YaLLZW1iZB— PureWow (@PureWow)1561578144.0
It's a lot like Citizen Kane.You remember that famous scene at the end where all the main characters left alive got together in a room, looked directly into the camera, and said, "Why rosebud? Rosebud is what happens when you bring wealth, longing, and sledding together. Let's celebrate rosebud."
But the pledge on the back is yet another thing that can divide us.
@OldNavy If you are going to quote the Pledge...get it correct...your shirt is wrong....its...One Nation, Under God… https://t.co/NpmynTWZh6— Tom Langston, Jr. (@Tom Langston, Jr.)1561490048.0
Will these shirts change anyone's mind?
And here I thought red, white and blue already meant 'everyone' under one flag. I know I WON'T be wearing a purple… https://t.co/u7ie3s31Ek— Deb Molfetta (@Deb Molfetta)1561503551.0