I'm writing about the Americanization of the UK over at Pond Parleys, (tongue in cheek), and thought I'd add another observation here.
Flying the Flag - what's going on? It used to be that Americans flew their flag, wore their flag and generally displayed it whenever and wherever possible. This summer in England however, the Union Jack is on everything. Next has clocks, rugs and wall art (above left) in the old red, white and blue. Department stores now have stationery with flags everywhere and I bought myself a lovely big bag from Accessorize with Union Jack + flowers last week.(above right ).
It's OK for me to do it; I don't live here and when I go back to Chicago I'll be (hopefully) the only person with such a bag. (Actually, it's great for me as I have about three birthday presents to take back to the States and a positive plethora of Brit things to choose from.)
But Brits - carrying flaggy things? Unheard of.