When I was walking my dog, I saw a Ukrainian flag flying in a yard a few blocks from our house. It pleased me to see it so I kept walking in that direction. I find it heartening to see signs of solidarity for Ukraine so I walked closer to the house that promotes peace.
“Come on, Barbara,” I said. “This way.”
Upon closer inspection, I noticed their yard sign. It said This Is Me Virtue Signaling. I went from feeling warm-hearted to annoyed. Who put that sign there, and why?
If it’s a longstanding sign and is an expression of the homeowner’s sense of irony and humor, fine. I have never noticed the sign before, but it’s entirely possible it’s been there for months or longer.
The sign could mean any number of things and I should probably just let it go. But what if vandals placed the sign there as a way to mock the folks who are flying the Ukrainian flag?
Virtue signaling, according to cynics, is when a person publicly aligns with a (usually progressive) cause not because they believe in said cause, but because they want to be seen as righteous. Virtue signalers, they say, use the hashtags but don’t do any of the real work.
I find the term judgmental, divisive and obnoxious. If someone wants to align with a cause, even if it’s just with a hashtag, great! I don’t think it’s fair or healthy to undermine the efforts of people who are finding or expressing their voice, including folks who align with different political ideologies.
It’s the first day of March which means I’ll start seeing signs of spring, natural and political, pop up all over the neighborhood. Maybe I’ll see the Ukrainian flag-wavers in their yard one of these days. If they seem approachable, I’ll ask them about their sign. Until then, if you want to interpret the coupling of the flag and yard sign, please let me know what you think it could mean.
Thank you for reading my blog. Hope to see you tomorrow. -Connie