21 Assumptions Revealed by 21 Words and Pieces of Plastic Claiming to Support Soldiers

We seldom stop and think about how much we assume and how much our world assumes of us. In this blog article, I do a detailed analysis of such a situation working form the following display. I’m not pointing to anything being “right” or “wrong” here – just doing a very detailed analysis, similar to the one I did for this blog article about a makeup advertisement. 


The sign, found on the Internet taken in a Chick-fil-A, reads: Please take a solider home and place it somewhere that will remind you to pray for those who serve our country. The sign is resting in a dark blue box surrounded by light-green and grass-green toy soldiers. The box has a red, white, and blue bow-flag around it. 

These twenty-one words, plus the display collectively, are overflowing with assumptions when you stop and think about it.  Assumptions embodied in this display include (there are many more!) the following: 

  1. That you have able-bodied vision (with or without corrective lenses).
  2. That you will notice the display. 
  3. That you can read and understand printed English. 
  4. That you agree / will follow its request.
  5. That you are unaware of semiotics.
  6. That you accept shaped green pieces of plastic as an appropriate representation of soldiers. 
  7. That you are okay with all soldiers and all of their bodies and differences being represented by one or two models. (What about these disabled in the army?)
  8. That you understand figurative language. 
  9. That you have a home. 
  10. That you need to be reminded about soldiers (and the nation’s many wars).
  11. That you pray. 
  12. That prayer is effective and necessary. 
  13. That you are Christian. (This one is implied.)
  14. That you accept Christian Nationalism.
  15. That you accept United States Nationalism and see it as ethical. 
  16. That only active soldiers serve the United States. (What about doctors and professors and janitors and mothers?)
  17. That active soldiers serve the United States alone.
  18. That only currently-serving soldiers need attention. (Tense and history matter.)
  19. That you are a United States citizen. 
  20. That spending money/participating in capitalism is necessary to support soldiers.  
  21. That you won’t critically analyze that which you encounter.

Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda