The Italian Flag is defiled in Hong Kong
A large department store in Hong Kong, ‘Citysuper’ has launched a promotion of wines and food entitled ‘Lombardy – Italy’. This is indeed a positive idea but on all the banners and posters showing the Italian flag this is printed reversed, with the red part on the left side instead than on the right side, a thing which is clearly wrong. It would have been enought to check it on google before going into print. In Italy this would be considered a criminal act ‘Vilipendio alla Bandiera’ that is ‘Contemp (or defiling) of the Flag’ even if such violation is seldom sanctioned. This fact reminds me that also when our national language, Italian – far older than our National Flag – is reported on English books it commonly appears misspelled. One of the worst example to date in contemporary American literature – so to speak – is in my opinion Angels & Demons by Dan Brown where basically all the Italian it contains is awfully misspelled, even the names of squares and streets of Rome! The mistakes where edited years after the first publication when new Italian mistakes emerged in his great bestseller, The Da Vinci Code. But this is nothing new, I remember Luigi Barzini Jr., writing in the ’60, saying that American writers saw Italian as a sort of African or Chinese dialect which could translittereted as it sounded to their ears not as it is.