Comic book fans in San Jose, California may find themselves getting a little more representation on the city council now that Lan Diep has taken the oath of office - a ceremony he performed while holding a replica of Captain America's shield.
A self-described lifelong comic book reader, Diep explained that he bore the shield in a private swearing-in ceremony both as a way to express pride in his love of comic books, but also as a way to bring some light to a dark political climate.
“I don’t want people to assume I assigned more forethought and meaning to this than I did,” Diep told The Washington Post. “The political landscape as of late has been gloomy. I just wanted to bring a moment of levity to the proceedings.”
Diep's Captain America shield is one of several pieces the lifelong collector owns, and is an aluminum replica that's closer to the real thing than a child's toy.
Diep bore the shield in his third swearing-in ceremony, after an emergency swearing in in December to fill the void on the city council, and a public swearing in which his family and constituents attended. The third ceremony was a private affair, attended only by Diep and other officials.
“I already had my group swearing in, and that was official. That one goes to the state,” Diep explained. “And I had this really cool shield that I never get to show anybody. One of the most patriotic things that you can do is get involved in democracy.”
Diep says he won't carry the shield while attending city council meetings and the proceedings of local politics, but he will display it in his office.
“I take the job seriously, of course. I take myself less seriously. I’m not above entertaining people in hopes that they will wade through the policy discussions.”