News outlets are reporting that President Trump is planning on redesigning Air Force One, the plane that ferries the President of the United States around the globe. Boeing is starting work on the new plane, which will replace the plane that has been in service for the last 30 years.
The President thinks its time to junk the understated blue and white motif of the plane, which has been the color scheme since the Kennedy administration. He thinks a red, white, and blue design would be better. He also wants to install a bigger bed on the plane — the current bed apparently isn’t as large as the one on President Trump’s personal plane — and he also reportedly has issues with the softness of the current plane’s hand towels. As the case with so many things the President is involved in, he’s very enthusiastic about the new design, and says the plane is going to be “incredible,” “top of the line,” and “top in the world.”
I’m all for modernizing Air Force One. No doubt there have been significant advances in airplane design and outfitting in the past 30 years — aside from the constant reduction in passenger leg room and comfort that we’ve experienced in commercial passenger jets, of course — and the President’s plane should have all of the cutting edge technology, as befits the United States’ leadership position in the world. And clearly the President has the prerogative to fiddle with the plane. After all, the Kennedys chose the current color scheme and jettisoned the red and gold that had decorated the plane in the Eisenhower administration. By all means, get softer towels and a bigger bed in there.
But I like the current color scheme. It’s not only familiar but also understated and classy, and I think it projects a powerful image to the world. It’s not shouting about who we are; instead it speaks softly (and carries a big stick). I’m a fan of the American flag and our national colors, but that doesn’t mean we need to douse everything in red, white, and blue. And I’m concerned that we’re going to end up with some gauche, over-the-top design with maybe a screaming eagle and some gold foil thrown in, too.
The color of Air Force One is something that America got right. I say leave it be.