No, it’s not an Onion parody. It’s an actual news story from Agence France Presse reporting on the latest American contagious disease: flying the flag on the Fourth of July:

“It’s a true epidemic: the red, white and blue, stars-and-stripes banners are everywhere in the United States – on house facades, front lawns, cars and clothes.”

And naturally, French windbag-savant and self-styled “new Tocqueville” Bernard-Henri Levy weighed in:

“‘It’s a little strange, this obsession of the flag,’ French author Bernard-Henri Levy wrote after traveling across the country.

“‘Everywhere, in every form, flapping in the wind or on stickers, an epidemic of flags that has spread throughout the city,’ Levy wrote in ‘American Vertigo’ of the riot of banners he saw.”

Next: An Agence France Presse story on the American “epidemic” of singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before athletic events. (Hat tip: Little Green Footballs.)