CANAL ZONE: $14.85 Worth of Diplomacy

When Panama's Constitution Day fell on the final day of pre-Lenten Carnival last week, U.S. Canal Zone authorities braced for another invasion by Panamanians determined to plant their flag on zone soil. Then the Canal Company's public information officer, William Griffin Arey Jr., had an inspiration. For $14.85 he bought 60 tiny U.S. and Panamanian flags to decorate lamp posts on the zone side of the border. Next day Panama's surprised Foreign Ministry viewed "with much pleasure what has happened." Even Panama's rabble-rousing politicos were dazzled. "An intelligent and conciliatory step," said their leader, and the threat of an...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!