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Controversial 9-12 logo was apparently a hot topic of internal debate

September 14, 2009 |  1:14 pm
9 12 March logo The logo for the "9-12" march on Washington, D.C., on Saturday raised some eyebrows because of its sources in socialist and communist graphic designs of the last century, which would seem to contradict the conservative thrust of the protest. Now Rolling Stone is reporting that those sources were meant to be invoked, a strategy that caused heated internal debate among march organizers.

National Affairs Daily blogger Tim Dickinson obtained an internal e-mail sent by Brendan Steinhauser, the director of federal and state campaigns for FreedomWorks, a corporate-funded sponsor of the march headed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas). In it, Steinhauser responds to concerns expressed by Tea Party Patriots’ National Director Jenny Beth Martin that the logo should be replaced with one showing an eagle and a shield, a more traditionally patriotic image:

I think we have to remember that this is a March on Washington, which should conjure up images of the street protests in other countries, like Ukraine, Poland in the 80’s, Estonia, etc.

If we want the politicians to pay attention, I believe it is imperative that we keep our edge, tailor our message narrowly and maintain the populist imagery.

Calling it "an edgy symbol," Steinhauser says, "it was a purposeful decisions to create a defiant image, raised fists against the statist policies of Congress and the president." The e-mail suggests that the decision to co-opt communist and socialist imagery was intentional.

The Rolling Stone story includes the e-mail's full text.

--Christopher Knight