When Barack Obama was elected, I lived in Belgium.
Something extraordinary happened around the corner from my home. A favourite local cafe hung out a stars and stripes.
Looking back from this land where houses, hats and hustings are always draped in the red, white and blue, that sounds commonplace. But it wasn't.
In my four years as the BBC's Europe editor, travelling to most of the 27 countries that make up the European Union and many outside it, I never saw the American flag displayed apart from at embassies or Kosovo, where Americans were indeed held in high esteem.
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