Taiwan, The Simpsons and the Winter Olympics

Taiwan at the Vancouver Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony (flickr/mattmay)
Taiwan at the Vancouver Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony (flickr/mattmay)

Since all my favorite US TV shows are currently on a hiatus, and I wisely chose not to embark in any new series, I simply watch reruns of The Simpsons, one of my all-time beloved shows, when I need a short break.

This week, I I made my way through season 21, and the 12th episode, Boy Meets Curl,  coincidentally happened to be about the Winter Olympics. Aired during the Vancouver Winter Games in February 2010, this episode took inspiration from curling, where Marge and Homer find themselves excelling at, largely thanks to Marge’s sharp sweeping skills. Thereupon, they land a spot on the national curling team, and the whole family heads to Vancouver, the one in Canada and not Washington State.

At each Olympics event, anyone with an affinity for Taiwan can only watch in despair the moment during opening ceremony where the Taiwanese delegation walks in under the nonsensical name of Chinese Taipei, and with a flag diplomatically designed for the occasion. Alas, it’s the price to pay for them to participate.

But at last, someone in the The Simpsons’ production team did justice to the Taiwanese flag.

Take a look at the two frames below. On the first frame, 3 fictional (?) flags are hanging behind Homer.


The next second, we have a close up on Homer, and the flags are no longer the same. I don’t know which country is represented by the flag on the outer right, but the other two clearly portray the Taiwanese and Japanese flags. Two countries sharing deep historical ties, and still very friendly to one another nowadays.


I wonder if this was done on purpose or not, and I feel that it was, as I cannot believe someone would deliberately draw the Taiwanese flag in such a context, without knowing the political significance of it all. So, brownie points to whoever managed this feat behind-the-scene, and just like that, The Simpsons has gotten even more cooler in my book!

(last updated: 2014/02/17 一)


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