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Originally published August 30 2006

Congress Should Define Commercializing the Flag as Desecration, Commercial Alert Says (press release)

by NaturalNews

If the U.S. Senate approves a constitutional amendment to prohibit flag-burning, Commercial Alert is urging U.S. Senators to define commercializing the flag as a form of desecration of the flag. The flag-burning amendment (S.J. Res. 12) empowers Congress to define and prohibit “the physical desecration of the flag.”

“Physical desecration of the flag should include the use of the flag for commercial advertising or marketing,” said Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert. “We should not allow companies to trample on the Stars and Stripes for commercial gain.”

In the aftermath of 9/11 and afterwards, several companies used American flags in advertising or marketing.

* USA Today reported on October 15, 2001 that “Marketers such as Anheuser-Busch and Kmart prominently feature the American flag in recent ads.”

* Advertising Age reported on September 24th, 2001, that “Two days after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, posters showing a bold graphic of the American flag with a tagline, slightly altered from how it appeared in a past advertising campaign, were hung in windows of Kenneth Cole stores nationwide. ‘What we stand for is more important than what we stand in. -Kenneth Cole’ reads the copy.”

* In an article titled “Madison Avenue Rides Wave of Patriotic Fervor,” the New York Times reported that “Flags were unfurled in television commercials and print ads as well as on Web site banners, signs and billboards.”

* Discover has marketed a “Discover American Flag Card.”

It is currently illegal to use American flag in advertising, but the law appears to be infrequently enforced. 4 U.S.C. § 8 states that: “The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever.”

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