Friday, July 4, 2008

Hooray for the Red, White and Blue!

It's the Fourth of July and time for parades and picnics and plenty of flag waving. Other than the auspicious occasion of celebrating 232 years as an independent country, I started musing about the flag while watching the HBO presentation of John Adams. In a scene where Adams and Franklin are over in France conjuring up support for the American revolution, they hand out flags to French aristocrats. Oddly, the flags looked like this:

I was expecting the classic Betsy Ross version with the circle of stars. I checked Wikipedia, and indeed the Betsy Ross version would have been the official flag during the time Adams and Franklin were in France.


Anyway, it got me to thinking how the colors of Old Glory are ubiquitously used in branding and logos all over the place. You can't go very far without stumbling across the red, white and blue in some form or another.

Many oil companies use the colors:

Although with escalating gas prices and record profits, it's not like the public is fooled into thinking these companies are in any way patriotic.

Speaking of patriotic, Bank of America not only uses red, white and blue in its logo, but evokes the sensibility in its name. America's bank? Really? I wonder how Citibank and Wachovia feel about that...U.S. Bank also uses red, white and blue in its logo as well as having a nationalist name. Bank of America recently altered their signage. It still uses red, white and blue--but mostly red.

I think it looks garish.

Of course our banner's palette is often found used in organizations, associations and election campaigns. Nothing says America like the colors of the stars and stripes. Also, nothing says America like the color of green--consumerism and capitalism rule when it comes to using red, white and blue as part of a product's branding efforts.




Motor Oil and Snake Oil:

Just kidding. I have nothing against real estate agents--even though the two that handled the sale of my condo were WORTHLESS. I'm sure that they're not all useless idiots...

Anyway, have a happy and safe holiday! Wave your flag--or if you don't have one, raise a Budweiser or Pepsi instead!

No comments:

Post a Comment