Orange Guard

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Created by Jonathan Smith:

The line of text at the bottom reads:

tiānbīng nùqì chōng xiāohàn 天兵怒气冲霄汉
(the fury of Heaven's troops surges to the firmament)

zàofǎn yǒulǐ 造反有理
(it is right to rebel)

The first sentence is derived from a poem by Mao Zedong — the ninth one here.  The second sentence consists of one of the slogans that were popular among the Red Guards during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).

The writing on the armband says:

jú wèibīng 橘衛兵
(Orange Guard)

Trump head adapted from Peter Brookes.

"Orange Guard" is a brand of insecticide and repellent.  I just cleaned my kitchen with some such citrus-derived product, though not one so colorfully and cleverly named.


  1. Thomas Quinn said,

    July 9, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

    I especially like the eyebrows…

  2. S. Tsow said,

    July 9, 2017 @ 11:02 pm

    Such naughty boys. My personal brain has not been inactive in crafting epithets for the Trumpeter, a.k.a. the Trumpster and Trumpelstiltskin. Among these are the Great Pumpkin, Don the Con, Devious Don, Duplicitous Don, Tabloid Trump, and Donnie the Mouth. Incidentally, why does no one ever call him Don or Donnie, the usual nicknames for a person named Donald? The nickname Don has been reserved for his son, Donald Trump Jr. The only entity who uses the full name Donald, as far as I know, is Donald Duck, with whom his human namesake has much in common, so far as quackery and trumpery are concerned. I understand that the jihadis call him Abu Ivanka, which is possibly the best epithet of all.

  3. PickeringPast said,

    July 10, 2017 @ 3:32 am

    His hands look so small.

  4. Bill Benzon said,

    July 10, 2017 @ 6:21 am

    I notice that Smith retained the pea brain for Fearless Leader.

  5. Jin Defang said,

    July 10, 2017 @ 6:43 am

    to S. Tsow: Ivana, his first wife, always referred to him as "the Donald," which although not a classic nickname, nonetheless seems to suit his ego.

  6. Ed M said,

    July 10, 2017 @ 1:42 pm

    The marchers are carrying Little Orange Books — sayings (or Tweets) of Trump l'Orange, supposedly. I don't know if Mao actually wrote the Little Red Book, but Trump l'Orange could certainly *never* write the Little Orange Book. Pehaps that is Draco Bannon's job.

  7. Eidolon said,

    July 10, 2017 @ 8:38 pm

    It's occurred to me both 橘 jú and 橙 chéng, the Chinese words for the color 'orange,' are synonymous with the fruits – tangerines and oranges, respectively – and that this symmetry is shared with the English color word 'orange,' which is also synonymous with the fruit.

    This is probably off topic, but it's still a curious observation, since it is most definitely not the case with 'red,' in either English or Chinese.

  8. chris said,

    July 10, 2017 @ 9:45 pm

    @Eidolon: on the other hand, English does have plenty of other color words that are also things of that color: gold, silver, lilac, lavender, turquoise, indigo, amber, chocolate, charcoal, peach, burgundy… rose is a bit trickier because roses come in various colors, though.

    I don't know a lot of languages, but I'd expect that to be common in general, so the fact that it occurs for "orange" specifically in two languages doesn't seem to me to be all that big a coincidence. I wonder if there are equally many languages where the color is called "carrot" or "yam"?

  9. Eidolon said,

    July 10, 2017 @ 10:18 pm

    @chris I guess it surprised me because I've always thought orange was a fairly common color, appearing naturally in many instances. Oranges, by contrast, are a fairly specific fruit, which did not spread to Europe until the 10th century from what I've read. What you say makes sense, though – naming colors after objects is an intuitive language practice and probably more so when that object is an especially lively representative of its shade. I guess oranges are just that orange. Like Trump's hair.

  10. Rodger C said,

    July 11, 2017 @ 11:02 am

    In older English, the color we call orange was often called "flame-colored."

  11. GMan003 said,

    July 11, 2017 @ 7:23 pm

    @Eidolon I suspect it has to do with the relative ages of color words. There's a general pattern of more nuanced colors getting words as a language evolves – so dark/black and light/white are usually oldest, followed by red/brown, and blue/green, which then split into more discrete hues. By the time a language is making words for various shades of red/brown, it's probably made names for specific fruit, which are logical to repurpose as a color. And as chris pointed out, other finer colors share a name with a related noun. Nouns for more fundamental colors would be less likely to share a word because, earlier in time, they represented a wider range of colors. Contrast oranges with blueberries – the former is a fruit giving a name to a color, the latter a fruit named for its color.

  12. Brett said,

    July 11, 2017 @ 9:33 pm

    There are four colors that are universal in human experience; everyone has seen them, and there is thus essentially universal agreement about what their cardinal values are. There are red (for blood), yellow (for the perceived color of the sun), green (for chlorophyll), and blue (for the sky, although the firmament is very unsaturated).

    Any colors apart from these are going to be less universal. Often such colors are named for specific material objects, which may or may not be widely available across the globe. The number of additional cardinal colors and the dividing lines between different colors (as between red and orange, which only came to be separate comparatively recently in Germanic) are highly variable across cultures. And the divisions, especially for very impure colors, can even vary a lot from one individual to another, within a single culture.

  13. Rodger C said,

    July 12, 2017 @ 11:10 am

    @Brett: But blue and green are often fused.

  14. Terry Hunt said,

    July 13, 2017 @ 5:33 am

    @ Eidolon: I don't think there were many things (natural or otherwise) coloured (what we now call) orange (aside from flames, per Rodger C) that would have been familiar to people in England before the 10th century (?) introduction of the fruit.

    According to Wikipedia, "The first recorded use of orange as a colour name in English was in 1512, in a will now filed with the Public Record Office.
    "Prior to this word being introduced to the English-speaking world, saffron already existed in the English language. Crog also referred to the saffron colour, so that orange was also referred to as ġeolurēad (yellow-red) for reddish orange, or ġeolucrog (yellow-saffron) for yellowish orange."

    I wonder if the use of the word in English was influenced by knowledge of the french Oriflamme (from Latin aurea flamma, but coincidentally having a similar initial sound) from the 11th or 12th century?

  15. Netaawy said,

    July 13, 2017 @ 7:38 am

    I think the small hand made like that deliberately, it mean something

  16. Victor Mair said,

    July 17, 2017 @ 8:06 am

    If you look at the first illustration in the following article, I'm sure you'll agree that Jonathan Smith made the Fearless Leader's hand small on purpose (cf. the remarks of PickeringPast and Netaawy):

    "Tsinghua University cancels professor's Cultural Revolution history class"

    by Caroline Roy, in Shanghaiist, News on Jul 14, 2017 7:25 pm

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