Back on Nov. 4, I wrote about Sam Lanza, a member of the local Disabled American Veterans organization. The column was about an issue Sam has with the DAV's new logo. The design and colors were changed and Sam has a real problem with the red, white and blue colors of the U.S. flag being removed. He quickly points out the flag represents what he and others fought for. He is an 86-year-old Marine.
I received an email last week with a copy of a letter from Arthur Wilson, National Adjutant based in Cold Spring, Ky., explaining why the changes were made. I will share some excerpts:
''In accordance with Article V of our National Constitution and Bylaws, your National Executive Committee, which represents DAV's 21 National Districts, considered and approved in July my recommendation to move DAV to the modem era through a revised mission statement, new logo and tagline.
''Ohio, as I am sure you are aware, is represented by the 11th National District and your elected committee person participated in this decision. Additionally, I addressed these changes in my presentation to the National Convention in August and again in my article on Page 3 of our September / October magazine.
''While these cosmetic and strategic changes may not meet the satisfaction of some members in your chapter, we ask that they review the enclosure carefully and consider a broader perspective on the matter. We are not less patriotic to our nation's value without the red, white and blue. Unfortunately, in recent months, the media uncovered several less-than-savory charitable interests that intentionally replicated DAV's prior logo and name. Therefore, a strategic change had to be considered.
''When choosing new colors, we selected noble themes we hoped would honor all generations of veterans. These colors differentiate DAV in a growing sea of patriotic service organizations and from the VA. Additionally, I think it important to mention that the majority of DAV members who joined the organization after their military service (the majority demographic being Vietnam era veterans) did so before the red, white and blue logo existed. DAV's national seal was used at that time for identification and as you will note from the magazine, the seal remains unchanged."
Later in the letter he continued:
''While our look has changed, our values remain the same. In an effort to remain a strong and influential advocate for our veterans and their families, DAV needs to evolve in how we market our organization, just as we have since we began including World War II members into our organization and later shortened our name from the Disabled American Veterans of the World War. We want DAV to be more prominent and our brand to be more identifiable in all communities."
The letter didn't help. Here is part of the reply from Floyd R. Mitchell, Commander, based in Portsmouth, and it pretty much sums up everything. I cleaned it up a little:
''Thank you for responding to our letter concerning the new DAV logo change. I felt that your explanation in the letter concerning the logo change was nothing but smoke and mirrors. You had no facts for excluding our nation's colors from the new logo. I am speaking for myself, and the majority of my comrades, we want our nations colors to be part of the new logo. Why would any member of the DAV not want that?
''Take a few minutes and think about it. The red, white and blue colors have been stripped from the DAV magazine, letter headings, brochures, business cards, the small binder book that has our DAV rituals, hats, clothing and DAV websites.
''And in all the things that I named above, what is it about our national colors that you don't like? And if your answer is nothing, well then what is keeping you from putting a symbol of our nation's flag on the items that I mention above? Have you forgotten about the men and women who fought and died for our nation's flag?"
Now, all this may seem petty to the average person. But it obviously is very important to veterans in the area, led by Sam Lanza. All things considered, I tend to agree with Sam's logic. It's a no-brainer.
Robinson is the editor of the Tribune Chronicle.