The Flag or the Worker?

Jeff Alworth

Care to guess what U.S. Code Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8, Item I dictates?  Hint: it appears to be the most-broken law on the books.  It's the section of federal code that reads, in part: "The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever." 

And because of this federal law, Rogue Brewery is no longer allowed to use its ad campaign, which features the stars and stripes.  So reports the O this morning, quoting a treasury official, who noted that the law is to allay confusion that the customer might think Rogue is a government-endorsed beer.  A rationale I find only slightly more believable than the Congress' claim it cares about Terri Schiavo. 

RogueInstead, I wonder if what really offends the government isn't the use of US nationalism, but its uncomfortable juxtaposition with obvious socialist symbolism.  See the worker with his arm raised high (in some depictions, his shirt is Comrade red), see the red star dotting the O in Rogue?  Perhaps the neocons don't mind a nice red state company using the flag, but this pinko business-- well, there's gotta be a law against that.

Rogue beer, living up to its name...

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    Of course, at least in that picture, that's not even the American Flag. Last time I checked, the American Flag wasn't a single row of white stars in a blue stripe atop some curving red and white stripes.

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    And does this mean that every store I see with an America Flag hanging outside is officially endorsed by the United States government?

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    Ah guess I should (1) read the article and (2) not post pre-coffee. Random use of stripes and stars apparently isn't an issue. Just obvious use of the clear flag. From the way the article sounds, the picture used here isn't a violation.

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    Oh, that's so stupid. Using the flag in advertising is a time-honored (if stupid) tradition.

    Have they gone after these guys?

    International Association of Fire Fighters National Criminal Enforcement Association The Republican National Committee

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    I seem to remember a Shilo Inn TV ad that featured a waving American flag prominently. Anyone else seen that one? If so, then we ought to start a campaign to have them prosecuted as well.

  • Anthony (unverified)

    Interesting theory about the socialist symbolism, Jeff.

    You have a point with the red star, but then again unions have been staunch anti-socialists.

    The "arm raised high" seems only to be holding the "E" in support, in strap-hanger fashion. With the American flag motif in the back, I could just as well imagine this guy saying, "Get that copy of Workers' Daily outta here or I'll kick your commie ass!" But maybe I'm just projecting...

  • Samuel John Klein (unverified)

    That logic is just bizarre.

    There's a difference between 'using the flag in advertising' and 'using red and white stripes and white stars against a blue background'.

    What Abbie Hoffman did in the 60's, with his flag-shirt, was designed to break the law. That shirt was actually made from a flag. If you make a shirt with a flag-inspired pattern, however, the law has nothing to say about that.

    And the gummit's hatin' on the working class besides...well, I always know they dispised us.

    And government wonders why we don't trust them anymore.

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    From the way the article sounds, the picture used here isn't a violation.

    Yeah, I think that's true, and it wasn't my intent to imply it. Rather, that of all the companies using the flag to hawk their wares, the feds crack down on which campaign?--the one with that socialist realism going on. Yeah yeah, it's conspiracy theory stuff, but ain't that what blogs are for?

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