NEW YORK: Old Glory was the focus of a Fourth of July campaign held
across the US by social activists Adbusters Media Foundation.
The organization held a contest to design a new version of the American
flag. The effort was created to warn Americans that corporations have
too much control over their nation.The winning version showed the stars
and stripes, but in place of the stars were corporate logos and symbols,
including those of McDonald's, GE, Nike, Joe Camel, and Coca-Cola.
The "Independence Day Flag Jam" garnered media for Adbusters in outlets
such as the San Francisco Chronicle, UK broadsheet The Guardian, and on
radio programs such as the Michael Medved show, which broadcasts in 120
cities and has over 1 million listeners - all for a modest budget of
"We were trying to get people to debate the true meaning of the original
revolution, and to decide whether we live in a democratic society now or
in a society where corporations have too much control," said Kalle Lasn,
editor of Adbusters magazine.
A majority of the dollars 25,000 budget was used to have 500 corporate
flags made. The 500 people who received the flags "swore" to gain
maximum exposure for the campaign, including placing the flags in front
of Wal-Marts and post offices, waving them in parades, hanging them in
front of US embassies, and even burning them in public. Adbusters also
placed a billboard in Times Square in New York City.
An e-mail was then sent out to some of the 40,000 "culture jammers" on
Adbusters' e-mail list, and a printable version of the flag was put on
the Web site.
Adbusters also promoted the campaign in its magazine, which has a
circulation of 80,000.