The Big Ponder

Episode 6: The Flag





Mar 1, 2021


THE BIG PONDER Episode 6: The Flag


Photo (detail): © Yassine El Mansouri

In both Germany and the U.S., the flag can be divisive, eliciting pride in some and unease in others. From patriotism to protest, Jocelyn Robinson explores the role that these symbols play in proclaiming who we are.

We hear from Sarah Haren, an employee at the American Pride store in Zanesville, Ohio; Dave Manges and Alma Coleman, U.S. Army veterans; Jonathan Winkler, a historian of U.S. foreign relations and military history; Nils Zurawski, lecturer at the University of Hamburg; Joseph Kearbey Robinson, a Naval Aviator, TOPGUN pilot, and graduate of the United States Naval Academy; and John Sims, an artist, writer, and activist involved in the Recoloration Proclamation. Production assistance provided by Tom Amrhein and Juliet Fromholt.

Listen to this episode: Apple Music | Spotify | Download


In cooperation with radio stations and independent producers in the US and Germany, the Goethe-Institut has created the transatlantic podcast THE BIG PONDER. We invite listeners to reflect on abstract ideas and phenomena through hyper-local stories. Each topic will be explored from a transatlantic perspective: do the US and Germany share the same values? What divides us? What unites us?   

In addition to sharing our passion for great storytelling, THE BIG PONDER hopes to further strengthen the transatlantic network of journalists and podcasters through our close collaboration with radio stations and partners on both sides of the pond. We are especially thankful for the support from our friends at the Bertelsmann Foundation, RBB Kultur, and the RIAS Berlin Kommission. 

New episodes are released every other week on this website and your favorite podcast apps. For more information, visit


Goethe-Institut Washington

The Bertelsmann Foundation

RBB Kultur

RIAS Berlin Kommission

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