The photo was taken by a Twitter user who goes by infernoenigma.
He posted it on Twitpic on Wednesday.
From there it was put on Digg by bianconeri4ever.
As of 7:03 pm EST today, the picutre has been viewed over 160,000 times, "Digg'd" over 3,800 times, and received over 700 comments on Digg.
It's been cool to see the response from people around the world, including American expats.
This is great! :-) Love, Italy!
yeah - welcome back! love, germany
I think we'll love America again, Egypt
We love you back.
Dear USA, Welcome Back. Love Canada
Dear USA, Welcome Back. Love Austria
Dear USA. This brings not only hope to your nation, but to nations worldwide. together we can CHANGE to the better! Love from Norway
What My Sign Does Not Mean
Now, before we get carried away, there have been plenty of good critical comment about this sign. (You can sample them on the Digg page.) These comments deserve a response, because they raise important caveats.
I am a lot of things, but a mindless flag-waiver is not one of them.
"Dear World, We're Back! Love, U.S.A." does not mean that everything is better now, everything is fixed, no need for reform, no need for progressivism, end of story.
It does not mean that all the people of the world look only to America for sustenance and guidance.
It does not mean that America has committed atrocities only under the Bush Administration.
It does not mean that world "popularity" should be America's chief concern.
It does not mean that everything good about America ceased to exist during the Bush Era.
It does not mean a lot of silly things.
What My Sign Does Mean
If you don't understand that the inauguration of President Barack Obama--and the grassroots movement and electoral rout that made it possible--signals the restoration of some good things about America and the beginning of a restoration of other things, then you haven't been paying attention. You haven't been paying attention to the lies and crimes of Bush Republicanism and modern conservative philosophy. You haven't been paying attention to the growing tide of opposition to those lies and crimes. And you haven't paid attention to history and seen that sometimes there are indeed turning points in history, when people decide that they are sick of being pushed down again and again. We are living in one of those times.
I wrote in my previous post about what a longer version of my sign might have said. It's worth repeating here:
(This has now been amended slightly, per an insightful comment by ActivistGuy from Daily Kos.)
America is undergoing a restoration and reclamation. We are restoring government so that it works for us instead of against us. We humbly seek to earn a position of moral authority and honorable leadership in the world. We want the people of the world to know that we hear them. We want them to know that we as a people are better than these last eight years, that our government has not represented us. Our government has been a vicious and alien thing sitting on top of us instead of a compassionate and democratic thing rising up from us. We're putting those disgraceful years behind us, and we're going to set things right. We're moving forward. We're back.
If you think this is a message the world should hear, let's digg, tweet, and forward it to them.