Ok, the average American tourist in London is usually polite, well spoken and intelligent enough to put some of our loclas to shame - I know because I tend to meet a heck of a lot in my line of work. yet the average American company is far different - determined to use its economic clout to impose *their* cultural standards on everyone else.
It comes as no suprise to me to learn that Hollisters, a firm owned by Abercrombie and Fitch from over across the pond, had told their staff that wearing a poppy in the run up to Remembrance Sunday contravenes the company dress code and staff are to desist.
However, our American cousins misunderestimated the strength of feelings for our traditions and our heritage in this country. Once the national press got hold of the story, questions were asked in the house and American Cultural Imperialism was forced to make what they usually call 'a strategic withdrawal'.
The fact that there are many UK servicemen in Afghanistan at present, plus the terrorist attacks on our capital city, has woken many people up to the fact that our national heritage is under threat. We may not like our government much, but our armed forces generally have a higher rating than most other places do. the fact that most brits have had a father or grandfather involved in the war against Hitler, and that Remembrance Sunday is still as much about that as anything else. It has truly set the nation's teeth on edge when we see firms taking the line that us Brits wearing poppies in our own country is not with them, and expecting us to bend to their rules and regulations.
It appears that the threat of economic boycott has forced the company to reconsider its policies, and I must say that I am delighted that they have been forced to climb down on this.
Of course, the American public will still be shown films in which the Americans won WW2 single handed, once it had begun with an attack on Pearl Harbour, and British chaps who know what really happened will roll their eyes at a version of history that's far worse than Dick Van Dyke's Cockney accent, but at least it's reasonable to expect that any American firm will be advising their management not to antagonise the locals in this fashion again.
Report of another firm taken down on the poppy issue here -