Rogue Ales Forced to Strike the Colors

There will be no more showing the red, white and blue over at Rogue Ales of Newport, Oregon. The brewery has been told to stop using the stars and stripes to advertise its American Amber Ale, by no less an authority than the U.S. government.

The use of the flag was apparently in violation of U.S. Code Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8, Item I, which in part reads: “The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever.”

So it’s out with the flag-bearing beer taps, pint glasses, posters and T-shirts. And the company’s red, white and blue delivery truck will have to be repainted.

“Ours is not to reason why, ours is to comply,” said Jack Joyce, Rogue’s chief executive officer.

The order came after an agent for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau who was visiting Newport with her family spotted a Rogue delivery truck with a flag painted on it.

Although it’s fine to fly it above places of business, U.S. code says the flag shouldn’t be used for bedding or draperies, shouldn’t be embroidered on things such as handkerchiefs or impressed on disposable items, such as paper napkins. No part of the flag, the rules say, should be used as a costume or athletic uniform.

A U.S. Treasury Department spokesman said the code is meant, in part, to keep consumers from thinking that the government endorses products.