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Check out these unsettling attempts to create patriotic fireworks packaging

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The fact is that in most states there are only a small number of varieties of fireworks that can be sold legally to the general public. So the challenge for fireworks manufacturers is to package the same fireworks in different packages and configurations so those roadside stands will have a big selection of tackiness to sell.

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The problem is that much of the fireworks sold in the U.S. comes from China and I think it's fair to say that these manufacturers might not have the sharpest grasp on the subtleties of American culture. So their attempts at packaging tend to combine lots of clipart mashed together with a theme and package name that often reads like a failed SNL parody.

Sure, these manufacturers understand that the July 4th is a patriotic holiday. But after seeing some of these failed attempts to capture the pro-US fireworks crowd, it's clear that they might not quite understand why the holiday is important to us. They seem convinced that all your need is a splash of red, white and blue, a random soldier or two and perhaps a veiled threat that the U.S. military is one bad-ass group of fighters.

The weird thing is that as creepy as these packages can seem out of context, they seem to inspire people to buy them. Maybe it's all some version of roadside shopping madness. But my hunch is that since customers know they're only going to be blown into little pieces, they're more concerned with the explosions than the artwork.

So the next time you buy a trunk full of patriotic firepower, stop a minute and check out what happens when you combine America's greatest holiday with overseas manufacturers who don't quite grasp the importance of July 4th.

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