First of all, the entire Snag team wishes all of our readers a safe and happy Independence Day!
Americans’ love for their country is powerful and over the years has manifested itself in unusual ways. One of my favorite vintage patriotic items sat in my parents’ bedroom for years—a Zenith nine-inch, black-and-white, Spirit of ’76 portable television just like this one.
Designed to commemorate the nation’s bicentennial in 1976, the cabinet bears colonial wooden planks across the top with the signatures from the Declaration of Independence and a revolutionary soldier on the side. What I love about this is that it’s so weird when you stop and think about it. There’s nothing about a television that is particularly patriotic. It’s not a flag you break out on memorial day or red, white and blue tissue paper bunting that you throw out on July 5th—it’s something that will sit in your home for years.
But that’s the thing about real pride—it’s designed to endure. Whoever made the decision to make a little patriotic TV set knew we’d always value our freedom above all else, bicentennial or not. For about 20 years or so, that little TV hung around my parents’ house to remind us of that. I remember lying on their bedroom floor on stormy nights watching the white glow of that tiny screen and never once thinking it was odd to see the Declaration of Independence wrapped around it. Of course, as a kid I always thought the soldier on the side was Jed Clampett from The Beverly Hillbillies, but that’s really beside the point.