The new, very British Mini

The refreshed 2018 Mini arrives with the Union Jack imprinted across the back lights, whether you like it or not.

BMW Group Press / Wikimedia

Mini is still a huge component in the iconography of Great Britain decades after its launch, and this too, the refreshed 2018 model, has its own weight in "Britishness" and comes with the Union Jack imprinted across the back lights. To be honest, it looks pretty cool, flaggy or not, but it raises the question why Mini, and no other car in the world, can fly a flag on itself and people just love and accept it.

Spoiler alert, we have no real answer to that question.

But, it is quite odd that a flag with such weight across the world, for good and bad, is quite alright being printed onto a car - and the car sells better for it. But how? Yes, of course, it harks back to the original 60s throwback (which no doubt inherited a flag out of pure bored and neighbourhood patriotism) but why, bizarrely, are we all nostalgic for it - without ever having lived there or then and truthfully, nor without any real desire to (at least not here in Mzansi)?

You'll have to imagine it on another car to understand how strange it is: Imagine every BMW you saw had imprinted on it the black, yellow and red of the Germany flag, or the stars of America on every Ford. How's this, a red dot on the bonnet of every white Toyota?

So, questions: Do the Brits who buy and accept this blatant display of patriotism, love it? Or do they, like us, like it because it just looks cool printed onto the lights? Or, has the flag and the Mini mashed together in such a way that they don't even notice it anymore, much like most of its buyers won't?

It is very hard to tell. Answers please!

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