Images of America: A Canadian vision of diversity? the image to visit the Parachute website.Yesterday we examined an image of America as a huge salad. The colorful ingredients retain their uniqueness but intermix in the bowl. This characterization of America as a salad has become a common metaphor of a multicultural society. An alternative is a cultural mosaic. Some use the two metaphors interchangeably, but the mosaic is most often associated with multiculturalism in Canada, while the salad bowl is American.

At right, there’s an image of the mosaic maple leaf graphic. What’s your reaction? How does it compare to the salad bowl image we looked at yesterday?

This image is part of the official Canadian Olympic Team Brand. According to the designer, it is “based on the geometry of the maple leaf and inspired by Canadian artwork, iconography, the tradition of quilting, and Canadian athletes’ remarkable performance and pride. The tones are based on the five colours of the Olympic Rings, which represent the flags of our world. The extended palette infuses colours from Canadian landscapes. The whole, vibrant and dynamic, represents Canada’s cultural mosaic and the energy of the Canadian Olympic Team.”

Both Canada and America are multi-ethnic societies. A key difference is that multiculturalism is an official policy of the Canadian government, while it is not here. For example, Canada has an official bilingual policy. All signage in Canada appears in English and French.

Do you prefer mosaic or salad to represent America?

Do other images come to mind?

Got another image to share? Add a comment and include the link!

Join us again tomorrow—and all week—as we consider images of America.

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Originally published at, an online experiment in civil dialogue.

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