When I was an analyst I went on a car trip with one of the senior bosses and he saw our Middle Eastern car driver with an American flag hanging from the rear view mirror, looked at me, and said "Wow he must really love America....or it's a giant front where some Arab thinks he can trick me."
This my friends is a good sign that progress is being made in the wonderful world of race relations.
That being said, at some point you gotta call a spade a spade. There is nothing more blatantly suspicious than seeing cab drivers draped in the stars and stripes. I'm not saying that they're terrorists in disguise (although with the way my cabbie drove while taking the picture I wouldn't be lying if I said he did terrorize me) but c'mon, they're no reason to think you can fool people into thinking that you're totally uber patriotic. If that were the case the events of 2001 (with subsequent non-tolerant American behavior) had the perverse effect of increasing anti-American sentiment everywhere.... except in NY where it allegedly galvanized the entire taxi driving community.
Now I understand that these people are merely doing it for their own safety. Sikhs and Muslims weren't exactly treated well before the past 5-6 years, and it has only gotten worse. In fact the only time most people have really thought how shitty brown people are treated was probably during this scene from "Inside Man" when Waris Ahluwalia* curses at some cops (including Denzel...he's soooo f-wiiiiine). But at some point ya gotta say it's a little overboard. I must say that having my cabbie today cover his seat headrests with the flag was a little overkill if I do say so myself.