Guest Host: Jennifer Golbeck

A flag display in Istanbul, Turkey.

A flag display in Istanbul, Turkey.

By some measures, Rockville, Md. is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country. In fact, a third of its residents were born outside the United States. Many residents want to protect that ––a sentiment reflected in the city’s passage of a “sanctuary city” policy, which supporters view as “pro-immigrant.” Soon after the city’s sanctuary policy was passed in June, the city of Rockville installed flags from 193 United Nations members in a public effort to embrace diversity and promote inclusion. While the move was popular among some residents and visitors, it backfired among others, particularly Vietnamese Marylanders who protested the display of the red flag of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. For many in the area who fled the country as refugees, that particular flag remains a communist symbol of oppression. We explore what diversity means for local communities, and what hold political symbols have on Washingtonians.


  • Tim Marshall Author, "A Flag Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of National Symbols"; @Itwitius
  • Thomas Phan Resident, Rockville, Md.
  • Hoan Dang Board member, Association of Vietnamese Americans; @VoteDang
  • Howard Ross Diversity consultant; Principal, Cook Ross; Author, "Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives" (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014); @HowardJRoss

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