Just got back from seeing X-Men, and OMG SPOILERS A-FUCKING-HOY
I just got home from ASM2, and I AM SO VERY ANGRY
One day, the HYDRA goon who was supposed to monitor Bucky got bored, so they decided to watch a movie on their computer. What they didn’t realize at the time was the computer was synced up with the brainwashing harness. Which was running.
Thanks to this, there are only three things running through the Winter Soldier’s mind at any given time: his mission, various ways to kill people, and Mean Girls quotes.
One of the first targets of the revived HYDRA is Jim Morita.
Of the surviving Howling Commandos, he was the most infuriated by Operation Paperclip. It wasn’tjust that SHIELD had recruited Nazi scientists, had recruited their enemies, had recruited Arnim fucking Zola. No, it was the fact that people kept saying that he “of all people” should “understand”.
Okay, no, but how in the hell do people not know about SHIELD when they have a giant fucking building on it’s own private island in the Potomac with a guarded bridge that’s right across from the Kennedy Center?! In the pilot of AoS, regular people don’t know what SHIELD is (tbf, I didn’t watch past that, so maybe things changed), and in Thor 2, Ian the intern doesn’t know what SHIELD is, and Darcy tells him it’s a “secret”. WELL THAT SKYSCRAPER IN ALEXANDRIA ISN’T VERY SECRET. At least the CIA and NSA had the sense to keep their headquarters in the suburbs, dammit.
I’ve been thinking about how (fandom believes that) the SSR alumni named SHIELD in honor of Steve, and all the symbolism attached to that. Now, I don’t actually believe that the name was Peggy’s decisions, per se. My thought is that she maybe suggested it (half joking) and Colonel Phillips and Howard Stark ran with the idea. I mean, Peggy didn’t have any actual power until the end of Agent Carter, and by then SHIELD had already been established.
Anyways, back to the symbolism.
I’m still convinced that the shield in SHIELD’s original emblem is supposed to be evocative of Steve’s first shield. There are a few differences - Steve’s had three stars and nine stripes, while the one on SHIELD’s insignia has five stars and seven stripes. My interpretation is that the stars and stripes on the SHIELD emblem represent the Howling Commandos - seven stripes for the original seven members, and five stars for the five surviving members.
The Howling Commandos were so important to what SHIELD aspired to be at the beginning - a multi-national, multi-ethnic elite force that handled the threats that the traditional military and intelligence services couldn’t. Also, just try to tell me that they weren’t some of the founding members of SHIELD - we know Dugan was hanging out with Howard Stark literally as he tapped Peggy Carter to be SHIELD’s director.
But SHIELD is compromised, almost from it’s very inception (and how pissed do you think Gabe Jones and Jim Morita especially were about Zola being recruited?), and it moves away from the lofty goals it was founded on. By the time we really get to look at SHIELD in Thor, The Avengers, and CATWS, they’re clearly not living up to their supposed ideals. In Thor, they’re the MIB bogeyman for our protagonists. In The Avengers and CATWS they are clearly and obviously doing morally questionable things - messing with the Tesseract, rebuilding HYDRA’s weapons, easily spying on everybody (was anyone else freaked out that they casually hacked the entire world’s cell phone cameras, and it was treated like no big deal? When Batman did something similar, and much smaller in scale, in TDK, it was at least given the weight that sort of invasion of privacy deserved). They’re no longer the type of organization that Steve Rogers really feels like he can support (he just feels like there’s nothing else for him to do).
As SHIELD moves away from the ideals of it’s founding, ideals inspired by Steve Rogers and the Howling Commandos, they remove Steve’s shield from their emblem.
I mean, Clint was obviously still recovering from Loki’s magical mystery tour. He’s probably not on active duty yet. We saw in TtDW that Dr. Selvig CLEARLY was not recovered from his experience yet, why on earth would they put Clint back to work as a fucking secret agent/assassin when he may still be compromised? That’s too delicate a line of work to risk him deciding to run around naked at World Heritage Sites.