Symbols & Logos

  laurie53 20:30 12 Jun 2007

What is it with the modern trend of some organisations/movements hi-jacking well known symbols or icons and using them for their own?

You’d think that with instant world wide comms it would be relatively easy for PR people to get a new logo quickly accepted world wide, but some seem to be too lazy or incompetent.

Some examples off the top of my head for instance.

The red rose has always been the national flower of England or a symbol of love. These days you would avoid anybody wearing a red rose like the plague, in case it’s a Labour politician pressing the flesh!

Similarly the daffodil has for years been Wales’ national flower, but it has now been hijacked for some charity in order to make money.

The two minutes silence is traditionally to remember those who died mainly in two world wars. Now it seems that every time there is a serious plane or rail crash we are expected to pass a dutiful silence, thereby cheapening the whole concept, and the memory of the tens of thousands who died.

For generations the yellow ribbon has symbolised the fact you have somebody away at war, but we are now expected to wear it in remembrance of the little girl missing in Portugal, even though, in this particular instance, there is already a lovely symbol of remembrance of all missing children, world wide, the Forget-Me-Not.

I'm sure other people are aware of other examples.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against any of theses organisations/movements per se, nor against overt advertising such as Shamrock Double Glazing, or Red Dragon window cleaners. I just think that some of these other cases could have taken the trouble to get their own symbol/logo rather than cash in on the success of someone else’s.

  TalYasis 20:40 12 Jun 2007

laurie53 spot on .

The worst case that I have recently come across is this country's continual use of the English flag to represent it's inhabitants!

  Kate B 22:36 12 Jun 2007

The red rose has been a symbol of socialism for quite some time, it's not a New Labour thing. Wikipedia says that originates from the students in the 1968 Paris protests wearing the red rose as an emblem.

Symbols, particularly flowers, have been appropriated, reinterpreted and hijacked throughout history, so the original post really just proves that point. It's an honourable tradition, and I guess it's done because to take something that already has meaning and resonance by definition imbues your product, or movement or whatever with the accumulated validity of past meanings while adding a new meaning to it.

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