This was posted on an LGBT list-serve:
Requests flood in for 'Queen of Soul's' custom hat
By COREY WILLIAMS – 9 hours ago
DETROIT (AP) — The calls began to flood Luke Song's hat shop not long after Aretha Franklin finished belting out "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" at President Barack Obama's inauguration.
Franklin, who wore a gray felt custom-designed hat from Mr. Song Millinery, has inadvertently caused an economic boom for the South Korean immigrant's store.
"We always make hats for her for high-profile events, so for us, the inauguration really was no big deal," Song told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The design for Franklin's hat came from two different hats at the store.
"She walked through the shop and said 'I want that bow (put) on that hat,'" he said. "She had the coat already, but she needed the hat to set it off."
Visit Mr. Songs Millinery on the web
(read the entire article here)
The hat has been the subject of many a silliness. It has been joked about and photo-shopped onto a everything from pictures of Christ to the US Airline jet in the Hudson River.
"Is it a bow or a turbine?" one reader quipped when I posted a picture on my Facebook page without comment. I came back with "probably not the later, as she didn't lift off"
A black woman from a committee on which I serve, followed up with a lengthy discussion of the "Crown" that African-American Women wear to church, this being a rather understated one reflecting the solemnity of the occasion. The article alludes to that. She chose gray for a hat that was originally red.
Kyle, my husband, commented on his blog that it was a disappointment that Michelle didn't follow this tradition of a beautiful "crown" at the National Prayer Service.
This inauguration was a marvelous occasion on so many levels for African-Americans. It has certainly raised my cultural understanding, and for that I thank God.