THE EDITOR, Sir:
Regardless of how you spin it, certain actions - whether symbolically done or explicitly stated - are always disrespectful, and in some contexts are considered an act of war. In the arena of nation-states and their ensuing diplomatic relations, the burning of a county's flag, as well as stamping on it, reflects a deep-seated hatred for the people of that state.
The most recent efforts by the people of the German company, Saturn, in which the Jamaican flag is burned, presumably as part of an ad campaign in which Jamaican music also proliferates, is exactly that. Not even the powerful sounds of Barrington Levy's Murderer being pumped out from all angles can redeem it.
It is noted that another use of Brand Jamaica's image as a marketing tool - the Volkswagen ad titled 'Get In Get Happy' - was declaimed as racist by largely white American critics, in part because there were white Minnesotans displayed using a faux Jamaican accent. It needs to be pointed out, however, that those who made such claims completely missed the proverbial bus and did so in error.
The fact is, Jamaica is not a race, as was so clearly pointed out by so many who resisted the racism charge in the ad. Furthermore, the creative referencing of Jamaican iconography was not as literal as in the case of Saturn, because up to the close of the latest ad, there is still no clear indication of what is being promoted.
On the contrary, the VW ad was clear in its message.
Unlike Saturn, VW's message was far more creative and less polluted in its attempts to indicate respect.
I object in the strongest possible way to the desecration of Jamaica's brand and the misuse of our national symbols by anyone, least of all foreigners, and would strongly urge the Government to indicate same to the people at Saturn at the soonest possible time.