Red Herrings and Logos

red herring








Okay, by now, when it comes to the proposed new state logo, everyone knows that:

  • The Governor’s office commissioned a new logo that is really ugly and looks like a 5th grader designed it.
  • The government paid too much for this piece of crap.
  • The overwhelming majority of the citizens hate it.
  • Gov. Haslam is going to force us to use it anyway.

Aside from demonstrating an arrogance and tone deafness that seems second nature to  this governor, RTP thought it would be beneficial if we pointed out just a couple of the glaring inconsistencies of “Logogate.”

Trying to explain their monumentally stupid idea of a new state logo, the governor’s office resorted to the straw man of “calm down, everyone. It is not going to replace the state flag.” Earlier this week, even the governor made this excuse: “It won’t replace the state flag.”

Just one thing wrong with that rationale: The only ones referring to the flag replacement possibility are the governor, his staff, the overpaid ad agency and a couple of close allies. The first mention in the press of “no flag replacement” came in the Tennessean on May 26. The source? Gov. Bill Haslam’s office. The most recent person to repeat the “no flag replacement” meme? Gov. Haslam.

And recently, Sen. Mark Norris says the whole controversy will somehow go away if the House starts reciting something called the “Salute to the Tennessee State Flag” every day (something those party hounds in the Senate apparently already do). We do not have any idea what Norris is talking about, and we have the sneaking suspicion neither does he.

But Sen. Marko Stupido couldn’t just leave it be with his weird solution. Oh no, he had to go and question the intelligence of Tennessee voters with this insulting statement (which readers will note repeated the governor’s spurious theme of “not replacing the flag”):Mark Norris

“Concern arising from the recent introduction of a new state ‘logo’ is the reason I’m writing you today,” says Norris, R-Collierville, in the letter to Harwell, dated May 26. “You and I understand that Gov. Haslam has no intention of attempting to replace the Flag of Tennessee, but most Tennesseans do not.” (emphasis added)

Really, Mark? You and Beth and Bill are so-o-o much smarter than “most Tennesseans?” Those ignorant hicks think the ugly new logo is going to replace the state flag? Exactly where did you see a poll that says that? Or did you just pull that assessment out of your butt? We’re betting it’s the latter.

The governor, ever the legal expert, opines that they couldn’t use the popular “Tri-star” logo because “it wasn’t possible to trademark” that design.  Oh, really Bill?

Let’s see how well your trademark holds up when someone outside state government decides to use it and your crack Attorney General tries to stop them.  We were not aware that turning the state flag 90 degrees to the right, then replacing the Tri-stars with an acronym (TN) that was created by the U.S. postal service and has been in the public domain for 50 years  was “trademark-able.”  What a load of hooey.  Just like your bogus inference that people were upset with the logo because they “thought it would replace the state flag.”

RTP helpfully offers some more, equally absurd, red herrings for the governor’s office to use when their current excuse for the state logo fiasco starts wearing thin:

“Critics of the logo need to take a Valium and realize that the new logo does not mean the state is going to randomly euthanize your pets.”


“The Pride of the Southland Band is not going to use the new logo to replace the Power T in the pregame program at football games and anyone who says so is an enemy of Gov. Bill Haslam. And a communist.”

And RTP’s favorite:

“Most Tennesseans think the town of Ten Mile (Meigs County) is going to be required to change its name to TN Mile to conform with the new logo. That’s just not true and the Governor says that Tennesseans should be ashamed for even suggesting such a thing.”

We could go on with more examples of herrings of the crimson variety, but you get the idea.  We will leave you with this thought:

Most Tennesseans do not believe the new logo is worth 50 cents, much less $50,000. But if replacing the state flag with the new logo would mean we get to replace condescending schmucks like Mark Norris and bull-headed officials like Bill Haslam, then we would be willing to consider it.


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