Category Archives: emblems

>REACT: Obama, the symbol of what?

>Just when I thought the Barack Obama thing was taking on the form of a religion, I discover he now has a “national emblem.” Every candidate has a logo, and Obama has a rather unique stylized “O” that symbolizes a rising sun over an American flag landscape.

I was not a fan of the logo at the onset, but his success (with no credit due the logo) has made the campaign symbol more powerful. If he was now only a long-forgotten also-ran, we would say the logo was amateurish and silly.

Well… as if being the messianic candidate is not enough, Obama has now introduced a new emblem reminiscent of the Great Seal of the United States (upper left). It screams out. “Obama IS the nation.” This is almost getting scary.

The whole thing made me uneasy, but my friend Henry Meers put his finger on it. He noted that the “blue eagle” was the symbol of Franklin Roosevelt’s plunge into facism with the National Recovery Administration (NRA), and agency the Supreme Court abolished as dangerously unconstitutional.

Of course, the idea for the new emblem is to make Obama look “presidential.” However, the audacity of presuming a personal national emblem tends to undermine the campaign’s egalitarian sales pitch.

The variation of the NRA theme (left), and its allusion to Roosevelt’s propensity to usurp Constitutional powers, will not help Obama with the troublesome older voters he needs to attract. We senior citizens have institutional memory of those Rooseveltian power grabs – at least as handed down by our parents, who experienced them first hand.

Since one of the Obama mantras is the abuse of constitutional authority by the Bush administration, he should not be so eager to image his campaign after the greatest Constitution abuser in American history.

“I am the state” was not good when pronounced by French King Louis XIV (being crowned by angels, left), or repeated by Nepoleon Bonaparte (on coronation day, right). If this new campaign image is to be taken seriously, we should all … as they say … be afraid, be very afraid.