An online Christian jewelry has stopped selling dog tags featuring emblems of the Marine Corps and Navy after the military branches demanded they stop with the unauthorized usage. But the story is still selling jewelry with the Army and Air Force logos, suggesting a connection between our military and the Christian faith.
I first wrote about the issue earlier this month when Shields of Strength was caught selling the items.
The problem is that, while it’s fine for (say) a designer to make a T-shirt that says “My son is in the Army” or “My daughter is in the Air Force,” you’re not allowed to use the actual logos of those branches without explicit permission. The military always wants to avoid that kind of suggested endorsement. In fact, the Department of Defense’s own rules go even further, prohibiting the designs on any items that promote certain ideologies or religious beliefs.
Shields of Strength was doing it anyway. They claimed to have explicit permission from one branch, but certainly not all of them. (And even that one would be a violation of DoD regulations.)
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation‘s founder Mikey Weinstein sent letters to all of the military branches urging them to put a stop to this by issuing cease and desist notices against the Christian company — and demanding that the people in the government responsible for this be publicly reprimanded.
It looks like there’s finally some success. According to MRFF, an attorney for the U.S. Marine Corps Trademark Licensing Office was able to get the store to take down the Marine Corps and Navy dog tags. The items are no longer found on the website. However, the Army and Air Force dog tags are still available for purchase.
Why the delay there? We don’t know.
Until that changes, though, the assumption must be that some branches of the military are fundamentally Christian. Surely, that’s not the image the government wants to project. At least you would hope that’s the case.
(Portions of this article were published earlier)