As tributes poured in for Madeleine Albright, the first woman to become Secretary of State and who died on March 23 at the age of 84, one tribute weirded out the internet.
Following the death of Albright, a McDonald's at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base decided to fly its flag at half-mast. An image of the flag went viral after New York Times reporter Carol Rosenberg, who covers the Guantanamo Bay area, posted it to Twitter.
The McDonald's flag would’ve violated federal flag code had it been flown above the United States flag, which makes sense, but the mere presence of a McDonald's on the naval base left many baffled.
Interestingly, Guantanamo Bay has more than a McDonald's. A recent New York Times profile observed that the naval base, with houses more than 6,000 people, "has some of the trappings of small-town America, and some of a police state."
It has numerous restaurants, a school, a salon, parks with barbecue grills, pleasure boats for sailing and fishing excurisons, and other amenities befitting a college campus or typical suburban community.
But Guantanamo is also decidedly controversial for containing a military prison and cases of torture against prisoners, particularly since the War on Terror, have long horrified and galvanized human rights organizations that have called for the prison's closure.
Additionally, the Cuban government has for decades opposed the base's presence on its nation's southeastern flank, charging that it violates international law.
The ubiquity of a McDonald's at what many critics deem nothing more than a torture camp also earned heavy criticism.
Albright played a central role in American foreign policy in the 1990s, first as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations and later as Secretary of State.
Her record of liberal internationalism, a foreign policy doctrine that aims to replicate domestic models of liberal democracy at the international level, has received increased criticism in recent years for shaping the 2003 Iraq War amid mounting dissatisfaction with American interventionism abroad.