Mini Stupidity

My grandkids like playing a game while I drive. They look out the window to spot the cars they like and score points. A Jeep is 1, a convertible is 10, a Mini Cooper is 40, and a Bug is 100. If we are lucky and see a convertible Mini or Bug, we get 10 extra points for convertibility. I play with them, of course. As a result, I can recognize minis and bugs from hundreds of miles away (I am exaggerating).

Recently, a Mini annoyed me. I was driving behind one, warmly thinking about my grandchildren, when its right turn signal started flashing. The signal looked like an arrow pointing to the left. I got so confused that my grandkids flew from my mind.

When I came home, I started googling and discovered that Mini designers wanted the British symbolism on their cars. The right signal is reminiscent of the right half of the British flag.

UK flag
Mini Cooper Right Turn Signal

Here is the picture from Reddit with the left turn signal on.

Mini Cooper Turn Signal

I am writing this essay but afraid to show my grandkids these pictures. They would be maxi-disappointed with Minis.



  1. OmidMnz:

    The delay and error this design causes in human recognition of the meaning is so well-known it has a name:

  2. Leo B.:

    To me they look not like arrows (not pointy enough, and the “arms” are too long), but rather like symbols of spreading rays: to the left from the left blinker, to the right from the right.

  3. r10pez10:

    I drove behind one tonight, they seem to have addressed this in other models! The turn signal was only just the horizontal bar, and the brake lights were the vertical bar.

  4. Ivan:

    Maxi Stupidity:
    Alec Issigonis was the designer of Mini and later a Commander of the British Empire and Fellow of the Royal society. He once said that mathematics is the enemy of every truly creative person.

Leave a comment