The disappearing red, white & blue.

I bought a new car the other day, a Buick Lucerne.  My LeSabre has served me well for 150,000 miles so I looked forward to my new Buick.    It is an excellent car, but one thing bothers me.  The LeSabre has the old Buick logo of three shields — one red, one white & one blue.  The Lucerne has the same symbol.  Only now the three shields are empty.  No color at all, just hollow shield shapes. 

What bothers me is that some GM marketing executive decided that they could sell more cars even in America if they eliminated the American colors.  For all I know the marketing expert is right.  I suppose they did focus groups & studies to tell them so.  How depressing is it that we have so little pride in our country that we don’t even want our colors in the logo of an American manufacturer?

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  • Steve

    Given the financial straits facing the big three in America, I am somewhat skeptical that there’s some “eliminate reference to the US flag” conspiracy afoot, Don. I’d be more willing to bet that this was a cost-saving effort, not unlike when Delta saved a million bucks some years back by taking an olive out of their first class meals. Even those little bits of paint cost money in paint, QC, and man-hours.

  • JJ

    Probably an economic decision, yeah. Are we even sure the car was assembled ini this country?

    One of the minor laughs I get on the streets is looking at the taxis. The Ford Crown Victorias are assembled in Canada, and most of the market for those cars is cops and taxis. They evidently spit them out of the factory pretty indiscriminately: I’d bet more than half of the taxis running around Seattle and Portland have the “police interceptor” plate on the back, and probably fewer than half of the actual police cars do!

  • Anna

    It was probably “you’ll save a half-cent if you leave that empty” type thing.

  • Patrick O’Hannigan

    Bookworm: Something about you driving a Buick, even one named for a city in Switzerland (?), warms my heart. I’m with Steve, though– I suspect the colors have gone the way of elaborate hood ornaments. Even the Mercedes star isn’t as three-dimensional as it used to be. In the current climate, only the leaping Jaguar ornament seems aggressively retro.

  • Patrick O’Hannigan

    Just re-read that and realized that Don Q is driving the Buick, not Bookworm. But my comments still apply.

  • Mason

    Even more depressing is Ford Motor Company raiding Boeing for an executive who brags about American Manufacturing but laughingly comments he will have to dump his Lexus to work at Ford. Where do these people come from?

  • kevin

    The same issue was raised by the Hollywood Reporter about the latest Superman movie:

    Ever since artist Joe Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel created the granddaddy of all comic book icons in 1932, Superman has fought valiantly to preserve “truth, justice and the American way.” Whether kicking Nazi ass on the radio in the ’40s or wrapping himself in the Stars and Stripes on TV during the Cold War or even rescuing the White House’s flag as his final feat in “Superman II,” the Krypton-born, Smallville-raised Ubermensch always has been steeped in unmistakable U.S. symbolism.

    But in the latest film incarnation, scribes Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris sought to downplay Superman’s long-standing patriot act. With one brief line uttered by actor Frank Langella, the caped superhero’s mission transformed from “truth, justice and the American way” to “truth, justice and all that stuff.”

    “The world has changed. The world is a different place,” Pennsylvania native Harris says. “The truth is he’s an alien. He was sent from another planet. He has landed on the planet Earth, and he is here for everybody. He’s an international superhero.”

    In fact, Dougherty and Harris never even considered including “the American way” in their screenplay. After the wunderkind writing duo (“X2: X-Men United”) conceived “Superman’s” story with director Bryan Singer during a Hawaiian vacation, they penned their first draft together and intentionally omitted what they considered to be a loaded and antiquated expression. That decision stood throughout the 140-day shoot in Australia, where the pair remained on-set to provide revisions and tweaks.

    “We were always hesitant to include the term ‘American way’ because the meaning of that today is somewhat uncertain,” Ohio native Dougherty explains. “The ideal hasn’t changed. I think when people say ‘American way,’ they’re actually talking about what the ‘American way’ meant back in the ’40s and ’50s, which was something more noble and idealistic.”